The Alaska Police Standards Council has started the process of revoking the police certification of former Haines Borough police sergeant Jason Joel.
The council is a 13-member, governor-appointed body of state officials, police and citizens charged with overseeing that police and corrections officers in the state meet minimum standards of their profession.
The council voted to initiate the process in May. Revocation of his certificate would disqualify Joel from service as a police officer in Alaska.
Kelly Alzaharna, the council’s executive director, wouldn’t divulge the nature of the case against Joel, but said the council has been handling the case more than a year and investigation included discussions with Joel’s former employers, including the Haines Borough. “A full investigation was done,” she said.
Alzaharna said Joel has been sent an “accusation packet” and can choose either to contest its charges or surrender his certificate. Although council proceedings involving complaints against officers can go on for multiple years, Alzaharna said she expected Joel’s would be resolved at the council’s next meeting on Dec. 4 in Anchorage.
The council’s action in May doesn’t mean the council has chosen to revoke Joel’s certification, Alzaharna said this week.
According to sources familiar with his work history in Haines, Joel left borough employment in April 2011 under questionable circumstances. He had worked in Haines for five years and had been demoted before leaving the job, borough police chief Gary Lowe said this week.
Lowe declined comment on the circumstances of Joel’s departure. “He resigned. Other than that I can’t say anything other than his starting date and ending date.”
After Haines, Joel took a police job on St. Paul Island for a short time, then became chief and sole police officer in Galena in July 2011. He’s been on disability leave since Dec. 26 and his termination from that department will be effective Sept. 11, said Greg Moyer, Galena city manager.
Moyer would not comment on Joel’s tenure or the circumstances of his termination.
According to a posting on his Facebook page dated July 28, Joel is retired, temporarily disabled and living in North Pole, Alaska.
Joel’s Galena phone number was disconnected and there was no number listed for him in North Pole this week. A request for information through Joel’s Facebook page was unanswered at press time Wednesday.