An uproar hit Palmer last week when an article and a social media announcement reported that a group called Mat-Su Moms for Social Justice were going to give a presentation before the Palmer City Council about the need to create a police advisory board to oversee our local law enforcement officers.

The upcoming presentation (Tuesday, May 11 at 7 p.m.) contains a proposal for extreme oversight and unnecessary measures against our officers. Media coverage of the idea garnered a lot of attention and engagement on social media and clearly ruffled feathers on both sides of the political spectrum. Just as this group deserves to be heard at the city council chambers, the public also has a right to weigh in on this controversial proposal.

Mat-Su Moms for Social Justice appears to have formed within the last year and is part of a larger organization that includes but is not limited to Black Lives Matter. You only need to review their social media platforms to see what their community and political views are. This group’s funding mechanism, timing and the origin of its parent group are all highly suspect. As a citizen and long-time member of the Palmer community I rallied a group of constitutional conservative friends to gather the facts surrounding this controversial issue in order to cut through some of the chatter.

I encourage the public to research this group for yourself and to look at each city council member’s platforms and voting records, which will provide a clear picture of where they stand on the political horizon.

For now, let us stick to the facts of the subject at hand.

  • The Palmer Police Department currently has 15 sworn in officers which include common staff.
  • Since 1998, police officers were involved in four shootings. Suspects were hit but not killed in 1998, 1999, 2005 and 2016. Again, zero deaths.
  • None of these shootings involved African American or marginalized citizens.
  • One officer was killed in the line of duty in 1999.
  • The present Palmer Chief of Police is incredibly engaged, responsive and has an open-door policy.
  • We already have the Alaska Police Standards Council with a strong mission and core principles. This maintains a high standard for all police officers across Alaska.
  • The city also has a city council as well as city manager and a beloved mayor that has done an effective job at managing policing in our community.

The suggestion that we need a civilian oversight advisory board is just simply out of touch with our present way of governing and is not needed.


  • Click here for details on how to participate in the May 11 Palmer City Council meeting.
  • Click here to contact members of the Palmer City Council.

Click here to support the Alaska Watchman.

Palmer police don’t need a controversial community oversight board

Pam Starrett-Melin
The writer is a politically and culturally engaged resident of Palmer, Alaska.


  • Neil A DeWitt says:

    If you give an inch they’ll take over everything! I say shut them down before it’s to late. They start in a small community and grow like wildfire! No need here. No good will come from this!

  • Shifra says:

    Of course it is not needed…UNLESS the goal isn’t better policing but rather to sow division and controversy, to undermine police morale and effectiveness, to awaken distrust in minorities by implying the police are racist, to label anyone who opposes the agenda a “white-supremacist”, to replace elected officials of integrity with puppets who will advance the evil “woke” agenda, and on and on. Dividing communities through fear and anger. Straight out of the totalitarian playbook and it is working all across America. God help us.

  • Mike Burdick says:

    Neil, I agree with you %. The likes of BLM and Antifa are funded by George Soros backed organizations and we do not need them to get even a small foothold here in Alaska. They have caused enough problems in the lower 48 and they are not wanted here.

  • Mike Burdick says:

    Should be 100 %.

  • Michael C Coons says:

    This is my testimony I will give on Tuesday.
    First off, just so we know where we stand, I am very privileged to be born in the greatest nation in history. Privileged to have fantastic parents that taught me to be a man and all that comes with. My group all feels the same, privileged to be Americans of all races and either man or woman!

    Moms for Social Justice is an offshoot of BLM, a racist and domestic terrorist group. Moms for Social Justice are anti-2nd Amendment, thus along with BLM are against the greatest document written by man, next to the Bible and even greater than the Magna Carta . Moms for Social Justice marched with BLM last summer and called for violence against our State and nation, “No Justice, No Peace” That is inciting violence. BLM chants like “What do we want? Dead Cops. When do we want it NOW! Then there is the “Pigs in a Blanket, Frying them like Bacon” although neither chanted at the Palmer march those were very much in the minds of Alaskans that support the Blue! Not to mention the fact that a BLM protester brought a rifle to the march supposedly to protect from the counter protesters whom did not display any firearms! Yet Moms for Social Justice testified to the House Community and Regional Affairs that we were armed, true, concealed and we were brandishing our firearms, a lie. Their brandishing of the rifle was the only “brandishing”. So why this paragraph? Simple, just some facts that show that Moms for Social Justice lies repeatedly and is a socialist/communist group. BLM, ANTIFA, Moms and other anarchists groups all call for the tearing down of our very local, state and national fabric, our very freedoms and liberties and replaced by totalitarian actions that stop free speech, the right to keep and bear arms, and all of the other individual God Given rights as written in the Bill of Rights. This presentation is nothing more than just that, to put our city in a position of anarchy, where we have to protect ourselves and when we do we will be in jail, re-education camps and gulags or concentration camps like in Hitlers Germany, the Soviet Union and China!

    The goal is to have a Police Advisory Board not under the City Counsel, our elected officials, but by the likes of BLM, Moms for Social Justice and other radical socialists/communists. This is being done in Minneapolis and other socialist run cities. We see the riots that caused the City Councils to do so and note the dramatic rise in crimes,specifically violent crime with criminals using illegally gotten weapons. Why is that important? Because Moms, Blumberg, BLM, ANTIFA and others want to disarm the citizen so the increase in violent crime with a firearm can be used to deny our 2nd Amendment rights to defend ourselves, much less own a firearm!

    So let’s dispel some lies. “Palmer Police Department is the only city department without an advisory board or council” I did a google search. Anchorage does not have one, although there is an attempt at doing so. Fairbanks? Nope! In fact one that comes up in the search is Police Chief Magazine “ What a citizen advisory board should not be is a policy-making body; otherwise, the ability of the police executive to do his or her job will be compromised. Law enforcement leaders cannot transfer their administrative accountability and legal responsibilities to a citizen board—there are statutory rules that must be followed and observed.” Of note is Moms quotes this same article, but leaves out the above.

    The make up of the Police Advisory Board is “composed of seven members… and nominated by the Mayor and confirmed by the Council” So, right now, we have a 4-3 majority of socialist in this city council. Gee, wonder who will be appointed? Will any of the members have had police training, since they will be overseeing and making “recommendations concerning police policies, procedures, training”? Nope! So people with no idea of the dangers of being a police officer will dictate to the officers what they can and cannot do, what equipment they may or may not have, such as firearms, batons, tasers, etc.!

    I could go on for a lot longer, but bottom line is, this is an attempt by socialists to take away our police and replace with social workers and run by hard core communists that will attack everyone but criminals! After today, this should and must not ever see the light of day again!

    Mike Coons

  • Tommy says:

    What we REALLY need is a citizens oversight of radical hate groups.
    In every city in America, everyday citizens should oversee every meeting, every phone call, and especially the bank records of Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and even Mat-Su Moms for Social Justice.
    Everything should be exposed and made available for public review.

    It sure helped open our eyes when schools went on line.

  • John J. Otness says:

    The choice is clear,,,, Run every one of these damn communists moms out on a rail and never let the BLM Antifa near your Police !!!!

  • John J. Otness says:

    David Eastman has a great article out on his page ….. These Cuck RINOS in our Legislature that bow to the communist Dems need showed the door also Rasmussen Merrick and the rest of the Castrated fools need gone… They are destroying our State as they lied to get into the Legislature only to betray their Constituents by voting COMMUNIST….. DOMINION gets you all!!! and its coming….. regrets will not help you in a military Tribunal.

  • John J. Otness says:


  • Proud Alaskan says:


  • Danielle says:

    Maybe we need a conservative-leaning group of May-Sunmoms to counter this progressive activist group. The problem is progressives are always looking to change things so readily form groups to push forward change. Conservatives tend to just go about their lives not looking to make changes in communities they happily live in as-is— the ones they chose to live in because they liked them and didn’t want to change them… but when faced with an organized group looking to effect change, it’s perhaps time to organize ourselves as well. Pam, you sound like a woman born to lead such a group. I’d sign on!

  • Elizabeth Henry says:

    Thank you Pam Starrett-Melin for the effort you put into this. I agree with comments above that this needs to be nipped in the bud and we need to be ever diligent as citizens. I am wondering if residents outside of the Palmer city limits can give testimony? Also I believe there is a 3-minute limit on testimony although I’m not certain.

    • Combs Linda says:

      A quick note in response to your inquiry. Yes there is a three minute limit imposed on individual testimony. Believe it or not a lot can be said in three minutes. Residents outside of the city limits certainly can give testimony. As I have bee telling many folks regarding this matter it is a public safety issue and public safety has no boundaries. I am confident that our
      Palmer PD would respond in the appropriate manner to any safety issue without looking at map. Here is a quick link on how anyone can address the Palmer City Council:

  • Ree Moffitt says:

    I pretty much agree with every comment I’ve read posted before mine in that we don’t need the likes of BLM, Antifa or Moms for Social Justice anywhere near Palmer.

  • Michael C Coons says: For those that can’t come out but want a say, the link is how you do it.
    Don’t know if the Mayor Edna Bell Armstrong DeVries will do the same as she did with the mask mandate or not. In that case it took 4 meetings to read all the written testimony. Now is the time to write! I hope she will do the same when the socialists decide to put this forward!

  • DB2 says:

    Dear Alaskans of Goodwill,
    Especially those who realize how blessed we are to live in such a naturally beautiful and abundant land…..please grab 2-3, 40-55 gallon trash bags and go clean up the landscape! Takers are going to take and destroy, it is up to the rest of us to care for what we have here.
    Thanks a bunch!