A vehicle seized by the Kodiak Police Department from a local drug bust sits in front of the station. (Derek Clarkston photo)

The Kodiak City Council discussed a new drug task force and nonprofit funding at a three-hour work session in anticipation of its meeting tonight at 7:30.

At tonight’s meeting, the council is scheduled to vote to authorize the creation of a safe streets task force.

Police Chief Ronda Wallace spoke to the council in early June about the task force. Under it, some Kodiak police officers would be authorized to work outside the city limits in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigations on combatting the drug problem in Kodiak.

“We asked the attorney and our insurance folks to review the terminology to make sure that we weren’t at risk,” Kniaziowski said. “We got reassurance that this was good language.”

The city’s staff is recommending that the council authorize the creation of the force.

At the work session, Wallace answered questions and provided clarification on the memo for the council.

Wallace said police officers in the program would work on investigations along with other duties.

“We don’t have staffing that allows us to take that specific task force and just make it that entity that just does that job,” Wallace said. “They have to do their other tasks along with working the investigations that come about.”

Wallace said most of the costs should be offset. The FBI will reimburse the city for overtime worked on cases up to a certain cap, although Wallace said she did not yet know exactly what that cap was

“We start all our investigations, and we work them as if they were city cases,” Wallace said. She said the same paperwork is used for all cases, and if the police decide a case meets federal level, the FBI will adopt the case.

“Kodiak is actually the pilot program,” Wallace said. She said historically, programs have been set up in cities where there has also been a special agent assigned to the city as the task force coordinator.

“We’re the pilot program where there will be no agent assigned to the city and so I would be that oversight along with a special agent who is in Anchorage,” Wallace said.

The council received 21 applications for nonprofit funding, said Kodiak City Manager Aimee Kniaziowski.

The total amount requested by the applicants exceeds the amount the city can award. The city sets aside one percent of general fund revenue for nonprofit funding. This year, that’s $168,100. The requests totaled $173,334.

The council discussed the funding at the work session in order to give city staff direction in writing a resolution for authorization. The council is scheduled to vote to authorize the nonprofit grants at tonight’s meeting.

Contact Julie Herrmann at jherrmann@kodiakdailymirror.com.

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