Kodiak to keep its VPSOs for now

Posted: Sunday, June 29, 2003

KODIAK (AP) Village public safety officers employed by the Kodiak Area Native Association will keep their jobs while alternative funding is sought.

VPSO coordinator Valerie Pillans said this week that KANA will be able to keep its VPSOs for at least six more months.

Pillans said other funding sources are being explored, including a Justice Department grant and a federal grant that funds tribal police officers in the Lower 48.

While new funding is sought, the VPSOs will receive funding through the Alaska Native Sobriety and Alcohol Control Program.

Pillans originally set aside leftover money for additional vehicles, but rerouted it to personnel, anticipating Gov. Frank Murkowski's budget cuts.

Instead of vehicles, Pillans said the VPSOs will get paychecks.

Earlier this month, Murkowski slashed $1 million in state expenditures by eliminating state funded grants to 15 VPSO positions. Six of the VPSOs slated to be cut worked for KANA in Kodiak villages of Port Lions, Ouzinkie, Old Harbor and Larsen Bay.

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