SPEAKING UP— Trinh Johnson addresses the Public Safety Advisory Commission with her concerns on the Nome Police Department on Monday April 2.

Community members bring concerns to Public Safety Advisory meeting

The Nome Public Safety Advisory Commission met Monday for the first time since August 2023, with a full quorum.
The commission heard from four community members who voiced frustrations with Nome Police Department’s arrest procedures, officer’s behavior and the handling of sexual assault cases regarding minors.
Trinh and Mark Johnson and Rexodus and Shawn Pomrenke all spoke out during the public comments period of the meeting.
“I don’t hate cops. I just don’t like bad cops. I don’t like bad behavior going out there in our community. We live in a small town, we should be able to work together, we should be able to communicate with each other. Instead, I feel like we’re fighting against law enforcement who are in uniform that you’re supposed to respect,” Trinh Johnson said.
According to Mark Johnson, the couple had a meeting with then interim Chief William Crockett and City Manager Glenn Steckman where they went over body camera footage regarding an incident. Johnson informed the commission that in the meeting he was deterred from filing a formal complaint.
Formal complaints have not been filed for any of the situations brought up during the meeting. Complaints are filed through Chief of Police. The PSAC is a community run body that conducts oversight of the NPD, investigates procedures and sets policy.
Commissioner Justin Noffsker responded to the community members who spoke. “We’ve definitely heard you. We take these things seriously,” he said.
 Chair of the Commission, Carol Piscoya thanked them for speaking up and said the discussions that come from their comments will be held in executive session as they regard personnel.
Sergeant Gray Harrison sat in on the meeting as the acting chief while Crockett is out of town until April 15. Harrison will leave the Nome Police Department in May for a job in Fairbanks and is currently in the process of training his replacement.
Harrison presented on the 2024 Quarter 1 and 2023 Quarter 4 statistics. So far, this year compared to last there is an increase in in calls for services and significant decrease in traffic stops. Sixty-six percent of incidents involve alcohol. Two dash camera/in car video units will be installed this month for trial use.
In other news, the emergency siren that was destroyed in the fire at the Public Works Building was replaced. The city and Federal Engineering are working through the radio system bid specifications before submitting the bid to the Common Council for approval.  
  No further action was taken in the meeting. During Commissioners comments the board thanked those who came forward during public comments and assured them their concerns will be followed up on.

 

 

The Nome Nugget

PO Box 610
Nome, Alaska 99762
USA

Phone: (907) 443-5235
Fax: (907) 443-5112

www.nomenugget.net

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