Gov. Mike Dunleavy released a plan on Aug. 9 that aims to help Alaska law enforcement investigate and remove sexual predators and violent offenders from Alaska’s streets. The strategy also looks to give survivors of sexual assaults more control over monitoring the progress of their cases.

Alaska has long been plagued by high rates of sexual assaults. According to the Alaska Dept. of Public Safety (DPS) the state suffers one violent crime every hour and one rape every seven hours. That included 70 murders and more than 1,100 rapes in 2019, from the most recent data on the DPS website. In virtually every statistical crime category, Alaska is worse off than the national average per capita. This includes rape, murder and aggravated assault.

According to state law, anyone who is arrested and convicted for crimes against a person, or a felony must provide DNA. Over the last 25 years, however, thousands of lawfully owed DNA samples were never collected.

Dunleavy has directed the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Corrections (DOC) to immediately collect 100% of DNA owed in all authorized cases going forward and to collect DNA from another 20,022 offenders who owe the state a sample of their DNA under state law.

“Public safety has been the top priority for my administration since I took office and we can’t wait any longer to solve this problem,” he said. “Since the mid 1990’s, Alaska had been plagued with a growing stack of untested sexual assault kits that we diligently processed with the help of the Legislature over the last several years, and my administration has made significant progress in clearing the backlog and brought closure to survivors across the state.”

Dunleavy has also directed the reduction of sexual assault kit testing and processing times to 90 days and is increasing funds to add more staff and resources. The governor’s plan includes the use of software and a tracking database to allow survivors and agencies involved in sexual assault response the ability to track the status and location of sexual assault evidence kits.

The governor’s plan was welcomed by Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson.

“Today’s announcement by Governor Dunleavy and his administration is a strong step forward in helping law enforcement agencies take violent criminals and sexual predators off our streets,” Bronson said. “This plan will not only work to protect our city but will increase safety across the state. It is my hope that ramping up the collection of DNA and the tracking and testing of sexual assault kits will bring hope to victims and survivors across the Municipality of Anchorage, as well as our great state.”

Dunleavy said he plans to ask the Legislature to appropriate $1.1 million to be used in conjunction with $900,000 in existing Department of Public Safety funding for necessary resources. He also intends to introduce legislation next session to directly address sexual assaults and violent offenses.

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Governor unveils plan to fight sexual assault and violent crime in Alaska

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Jen says:

    Dunleavy you have a good heart. But! That 1.1 million dollars will only be funneled into some peoples pockets before it can do anything useful. Alaska first has to fix its corruption before women and men can see positive changes.

  • Proud Alaskan says:

    Agree Jen
    Does this mean Dunleavy is Finally standing tall on an issue.

  • Opus says:

    I agree with Jen. There seems to be a false perception out there that you can solve any problem by throwing money at it. When these predators start experiencing the death penalty the problem will go away.

  • Ralph says:

    Follow the money. . . Where is it going other than where it was supposed to go.
    Find out who is in charge and hold them accountable.
    -Treat the CASUE not the Symptom!

  • Sharon Turner says:

    Fled with 3 young children and second husband to Anchorage 3/1974 ! Fled/escaped? Yes. Finally granted order of protection *(so called-yeah sure”). first spouse, aka ‘monster’ would break into my father’s house that we leased. Lie in wait, attacked me on Fathers’ Day. Year old baby on one hip, bag on other. Nearly knock us down wooden flight. Next door nieces burst in with broom and trowel in hands. My new spouse “Sam” on sofa just home from hospital, still weak. I called county sheriff’s . “Monster still menacing us all with his 45 unholstered .. I will hunt you down, etc.. nearly 1/2 hr passed. Here came the Sergeant of the watch.. enters. Aw, come on “Monster” calm down, lets do relax and get some coffee.. You see “Monster” was a Sheriff’s full time deputy, former US Marine, who stood there tore the “protection order” (piece of paper) to shreds and threw into my face saying “think this’ll protect you guys?”. This was 1970. Nothing has changed. Survivor, thriving, retired great grandma! (*still with small bouts of PTSD from the WAR !) Monster -dead!

  • DoneWithIt says:

    Need to start in the Bush, first.
    The incidence of sexual assault, rape, and incest is diabolical.
    Alaska’s dirty little secret.

  • Hazel PJ Grey says:

    He is using PTSD as an excuse
    All the young men I knew coming home from Viet Nam were disoriented but kind and safe around women, etc. When stressed they sought each other and worked together through the memories. Men. Real men are survivors not victims.

  • Mo says:

    Gotta start somewhere, at least he’s shedding light on it and it’s better then doing nothing.

  • Mongo Love Candy says:

    A desperate RINO desperately trying to remain relevant, but its too little too late.

  • Jen says:

    I am more concerned about not only will the top heavy leaders of departments and commissions will recieve a lion monetary share. But the added subordinate government jobs in rural alaska cause rural alaska state troopers do need more employees to administer these rape test kits. Some small communities don’t even have any kind of law enforcement. Once a government job is created and there is a body sitting in that job, you can’t close the job as easily as it was creating it. Hearing how thick the corruption is within Alaska state government, I doubt the government employees will actually do anything meaningful reducing the problem. They be happy they have a nice paying job to take care of themselves like anyone else desiring personal independence and financial security that comes from having a good paying job.

    I do see every single community should have law enforcement. The lack of presence doesn’t help women and men who are taking the right self care and preventative measures staying out of abusive relationships from the first place when someone can just feel free to enter their home and violate them and their property, because the perpetrator knows there is no law enforcement for miles.

    • Jen says:

      In every village there should be a law enforcement office equipped with at least two officers to support and back eachother up right next door to missionaries church. I see Rural Alaska is just is in just much need for church planting and church building by missionaries as they are doing in 3rd world countries in Africa and Asia. A pastor and church planters who stay on and just teach raw foundation of the bible without all that religiosity mumble jumble committment to their church faiths that we see in the catholic, mormon, moravian, jehovah witnesses, and russian orthodox religions.
      The pastors and the mission teams got to be willing to serve and help and build houses needing to be repaired, children who need someone reading to them and turtoring them, single mothers who need a guide, single dads needing a dad to come alongside to teach him how to be the man, old people needing young people to help them do chores and watch children play while the missionary and single parents come to visit assisting, conducting bible study, and praying.

      • Jen says:

        In a nutshell teach Rural alaskans residents how to live by showing them how to live when the missionary comes alongside the resident including them in the work of repairing their home, reading to their children/grandchildren and guiding their single parents adult children by the hand until they can work unassisted. But never doing the work for them excluding them out of the process, while you read the Gospel to and with them.

      • Mo says:

        Good points Jen, however, I’m not aware of this corruption in the state you speak of but yes, agree they are bloated. let’s not forget that alcohol is usually a driving force behind all the horrid issues in the state, so what then? Tax alcohol until its unaffordable? Ban it? It’s caused more problems then covid ever has or ever will since time immemorial, it’s insidious and has crept into every facet of life everywhere, turn on the TV and every other commercial is promoting a drink, our young are inundated by it 24-7 and that makes it tough to avoid, this world has a serious alcohol issue.

  • Mary Frances Mc ALL says:

    Corruption must ! We support and love our Gov. Dunleavy! And Anchorage
    Mayor Dave Bronson. We Keep up in a and are Praying for A Big Breakthrough! ✌️

  • Mary Frances Mc ALL says:

    Corruption must stop! We support and love our Gov. Dunleavy! And Anchorage
    Mayor Dave Bronson. We Keep up in a and are Praying for A Big Breakthrough! ✌️