The Toolkits provide critically important resources for Tribal law enforcement, including a Panasonic Toughbook Tablet, Pelican protector case, headset, scanner, camera, and more.
The Toolkits are provided for free upon request to Tribal communities that administer their own AMBER Alert program, or which participate in (or are in the process of adopting or joining) a regional or state AMBER Alert plan.
The Technology Toolkit program is overseen by the AMBER Alert in Indian Country (AIIC) initiative of the AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program (AATTAP)—funded by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Ashlynne Mike AMBER Alert in Indian Country Act of 2018.
“Alaskan Native people, particularly women and children, are disappearing and being murdered at alarming rates,” said Chickaloon Tribal Police Chief Donna Anthony. “Our state continues to have one of the highest rates compared to the lower 48, which is devastating for our families and our communities.”
In 2018, the Alaska Department of Public Safety reported that 55.6% of Alaska’s sexual assault victims are Alaska Native people and 80% of Alaska Native woman have been a victim of domestic violence.
“Alaska Native women experience disproportionate levels of violence, but it’s difficult to know exactly how bad the problem is. Mistrust of the legal system means assaults too often go unreported or misclassified for various reasons. The numbers reflect the lives affected by violence, and the evidence data collected is crucial for any conviction,” Anthony said. “Using the AMBER Alert Technology Toolkit will enhance our response capabilities and increase public participation in protecting our children.”
When a child goes missing, the first 48 hours are the most critical time for response. “The donated Toolkits will help us fill in the time gaps during those 48 hours,” Anthony said. “Responding officers can access the kit and have everything they need to send out an alert as quickly as possible while still in the field, including in rural areas.”
The Chickaloon Tribal Police Department expressed its appreciation for support from its Tribal leaders, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)–Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) Unit, the Alaska State Troopers, and local agencies.
“On behalf of the Chickaloon Tribal Police Department, we thank the AMBER Alert in Indian Country initiative and the AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program for their partnerships, which help us keep our children safe,” Anthony said. — Denise Gee Peacock