Alaska is in the midst of a law enforcement / crime wave panic, as property crimes, stolen vehicles, home invasions all seem to be spiking here in Anchorage and elsewhere. The last couple years have been particularly bad.
The governor recalled the legislature to yet another special session in October. One of the topics for action is a repeal or revision of the comprehensive crime legislation passed a couple years ago, SB 91. Anchorage state senator Mia Costello is already calling for its repeal. http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/state/2017-09-28/senator-former-backer-sb91-seeks-its-repeal
SB 91 was passed with a significant majority in both houses of the legislature. Only two state senators voted against it. The overall intention was to allocate resources toward more serious crimes and ratchet back penalties for lesser crimes. If the opposition is correct, this may have been a mistake, as it ignores the very real lessons of Rudy Giuliani as mayor of NYC decades ago, where he and his police department concentrated on lower level crime as a way to keep fledgling Bad Guys from learning their new profession. Think of small property crime as the gateway drug to bigger and badder criminal acts.
So repeal and modification of SB 91 may indeed be a good thing to do, especially if it reinstates enforcement against lower level criminal acts. But is it the only cause? Perhaps not. There may be another couple things in play.
One of those would be which party is in control of the governorship and the mayor of the largest city in Alaska. One of the things we see politically is that under democrats we generally see higher spending, worse economic activity, and eventually higher crime rates. Governor Walker and the democrats in his administration have been doing their level best to chase resource development jobs out of Alaska for nearly four years. They are quite good at it and have been successful. If there are no jobs, no hope for the future, a turn to criminal pursuits is much easier.
Obvuiously correlation is not causation, but it is interesting timing that we are seeing this crime wave when democrats are in charge.
What else could cause this crime wave? What else has changed over the last few years? How about the import of 0.8 – 1.9 million young, unattached, uneducated men from Central America as part of O’Bama’s DACA / DREAMER program since 2012?
No small number of these people are gang bangers. Not only have they brought tropical diseases to the public schools, but they also brought criminal gangs like MS13 into lots of places it never existed before. The DACA / DREAMERs are late teens to middle ‘20s in age, can’t speak the language, and have no marketable skills. Once in country, they are dispersed and placed curtesy of organizations like Catholic Social Services here in Anchorage.
Kind of makes you wonder how many of these people have been settled in southcentral Alaska over the last several years. How much of the new criminal activity is being done by these people? Catholic Social Services probably has a number of people relocated and settled. They are getting paid by the feds for doing it.
If it were me, I’d ask that question. And if nobody is asking that question, I’d like to know why, expecting the answer is because Anchorage is now a sanctuary city. Pretty high price to pay for virtue signaling, isn’t it?
Alex Gimarc lives in Anchorage since retiring from the military in 1997. His interests include science and technology, environment, energy, economics, military affairs, fishing and disabilities policies. His weekly column “Interesting Items” is a summary of news stories with substantive Alaska-themed topics. He is a small business owner and Information Technology professional.