- Associated Press - Sunday, June 15, 2014

KODIAK, Alaska (AP) - The police chief in the city of Kodiak is promoting the idea of partnering with the FBI to deal with the city’s growing criminal elements and drug trade.

Chief Ronda Wallace discussed the opportunity with the Kodiak City Council.

“We have guns. We have money laundering. We have violent crimes. We have drugs. We have identity theft,” she said at a council work session Tuesday.

The FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force partnership would give police expanded capabilities and some federal powers to battle crimes and drugs.

It’s up to the council to decide whether to move forward with setting up a task force, the Kodiak Daily Mirror (https://is.gd/ZWxmWF) reported. Wallace said that “then from there what we do is have a memorandum of understanding with the FBI. And then put together a task force.”

Wallace told the council the mission of the task force is to identify groups responsible for drug trafficking, money laundering and murder, and other violent crimes.

The task force also works with fighting getting activity.

Wallace said that although Kodiak does not have organized gangs, it has individual gang members.

“It’s not that overt,” she said. “We don’t have specific Crips. We don’t have specific Bloods. But what we do know is that we have members that were gang members in the lower 48 that are in our community currently and involved in the drug trade.”

Between 2- and- 3 percent of the city’s 6,400 residents are involved with criminal activity, Wallace estimated.

The 1980s in Kodiak was a time that was rampant with drugs, such as marijuana and cocaine, according to Wallace. Today, drugs include heroin and methamphetamine.

Some drugs sold in Kodiak cost more than 100 times more than in the lower 48, according to Wallace’s data. She suggested the prices were inflated because of “access.”

Weather and isolation make it much more difficult to move drugs to the island, and that raises the street value of the drugs.

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Information from: Kodiak (Alaska) Daily Mirror, https://www.kodiakdailymirror.com

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