Creating better relationship between law enforcement and disabled
Wednesday February 8, 2017, Juneau, Alaska – Today a House Republican bill aimed at fostering a better relationship between law enforcement and people with non-apparent disabilities passed the House of Representatives.
"The hope of this bill is to reduce negative encounters between law enforcement and Alaskans," says Rep. Steve Thompson, R-Fairbanks. "If a person’s disability isn’t recognized during an encounter with an officer there’s a potential for a poor outcome. Proper communication between the two parties will be beneficial for all.”
The way HB16 will work is three fold. First, all Alaska peace officers will take part in non- apparent disability training which will provide them with information to guide them to improved interactions. Second, the Alaska Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will add a section to the Passenger Driver Handbook that will instruct drivers of their responsibilities when interacting with officers. Third, a person will have the option to voluntarily add a non-apparent disability indicator to their driver’s license or state issued ID.
“By taking these simple steps and turning them into law Alaskans with non-apparent disabilities and our law enforcement will be better prepared to understand with each other during an encounter,” says Rep. Thompson.
HB16 has bi-partisan support with 26 representatives signing onto Rep. Thompson’s bill. It passed the house with a vote of 38 - 0 and now moves to the Senate for consideration.
For More information contact Rep. Thompson’s office at 907-465-3004.