Supreme Court should reconsider decision on VPSOs

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, April 21, 2005

I was deeply hurt by the Supreme Court's decision to find no fault with the administration of policing of our communities in Alaska. I felt the same way when the Supreme Court found that all Alaskans are subsistence users.

It is my opinion that the honorable justices did not take into consideration Section 1. Inherent Rights under our state's constitution. It states: "This constitution is dedicated to the principles that all persons have a natural right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the enjoyment of the rewards of their own industry; that all persons are equal and entitled to equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law; and that all persons have corresponding obligations to the people and to the State."

How can a person have a "natural right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness" if a drug-crazed or alcohol-besotted individual holds an entire village hostage? There is no Homeland Security when people are prisoners in their homes for hours and even days. These words ring hollow in view of the court's decision to find no inequity in the distribution of resources as it relates to the administration of policing in all of our communities in Alaska.

Furthermore, how can it be said in our constitution that "all persons are equal and entitled to equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law" if our villages are protected by State Village Police Safety Officers who do not have adequate training, are poorly equipped and are not armed? The court's decision seems to fly in the face of these facts.

No special privilege is established if a just court finds that the allocation of funds to secure "equal protection" is not equitable in the state of Alaska. It would merely follow what the authors of our Alaska Constitution stated very clearly are fundamental rights articulated in "Section 1. Inherent Rights."

I would pray that the Supreme Court will go back and review the facts of this case with "Section 1. Inherent Rights" in mind. At the very least, I beg the court to give guidance to the Alaska Legislature and administration on how they must allocate policing resources in a manner that guarantees that all of our citizens, regardless of where they live, have "equal protection under the law."

Nels Anderson, Jr.

Dillingham



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