Alaska State Troopers
Overview
The Division of Alaska State Troopers (AST) is the state police
State police
State police are a type of sub-national territorial police force, particularly in Australia and the United States. Some other countries have analogous police forces, such as the provincial police in some Canadian provinces, while in other places, the same responsibilities are held by national...

 agency
Government agency
A government or state agency is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversight and administration of specific functions, such as an intelligence agency. There is a notable variety of agency types...

 of Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

. It is a division of the Alaska Department of Public Safety
Alaska Department of Public Safety
The Alaska Department of Public Safety is a law enforcement agency with its usual focus being the protection of life, property and wildlife resources in the state of Alaska in the United States....

 (DPS). The Alaska State Troopers are a full service law enforcement agency and handle both traffic and criminal law enforcement. The Alaska State Troopers are also involved in apprehending fugitive
Fugitive
A fugitive is a person who is fleeing from custody, whether it be from private slavery, a government arrest, government or non-government questioning, vigilante violence, or outraged private individuals...

s as part of the Alaska Fugitive Task Force, an inter-agency collaborative of Alaska police departments that cooperates with police agencies throughout the United States and less commonly with Interpol
Interpol
Interpol, whose full name is the International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL, is an organization facilitating international police cooperation...

 in apprehending wanted men and women.

Unlike most state police agencies, AST is unique in that it performs duties unlike other similar agencies.
Encyclopedia
The Division of Alaska State Troopers (AST) is the state police
State police
State police are a type of sub-national territorial police force, particularly in Australia and the United States. Some other countries have analogous police forces, such as the provincial police in some Canadian provinces, while in other places, the same responsibilities are held by national...

 agency
Government agency
A government or state agency is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversight and administration of specific functions, such as an intelligence agency. There is a notable variety of agency types...

 of Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

. It is a division of the Alaska Department of Public Safety
Alaska Department of Public Safety
The Alaska Department of Public Safety is a law enforcement agency with its usual focus being the protection of life, property and wildlife resources in the state of Alaska in the United States....

 (DPS). The Alaska State Troopers are a full service law enforcement agency and handle both traffic and criminal law enforcement. The Alaska State Troopers are also involved in apprehending fugitive
Fugitive
A fugitive is a person who is fleeing from custody, whether it be from private slavery, a government arrest, government or non-government questioning, vigilante violence, or outraged private individuals...

s as part of the Alaska Fugitive Task Force, an inter-agency collaborative of Alaska police departments that cooperates with police agencies throughout the United States and less commonly with Interpol
Interpol
Interpol, whose full name is the International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL, is an organization facilitating international police cooperation...

 in apprehending wanted men and women.

Unlike most state police agencies, AST is unique in that it performs duties unlike other similar agencies. Because Alaska has no counties
County (United States)
In the United States, a county is a geographic subdivision of a state , usually assigned some governmental authority. The term "county" is used in 48 of the 50 states; Louisiana is divided into parishes and Alaska into boroughs. Parishes and boroughs are called "county-equivalents" by the U.S...

 and hence, no county police
County police
County police are the police of a county in the United States, Sweden and England .- Sweden :All of the 21 Counties of Sweden contains a County Police Department of the Swedish Police Service.-United Kingdom:...

 or sheriffs
Sheriffs in the United States
In the United States, a sheriff is a county official and is typically the top law enforcement officer of a county. Historically, the sheriff was also commander of the militia in that county. Distinctive to law enforcement in the United States, sheriffs are usually elected. The political election of...

 in its constitution, the troopers also handle civil papers, mental health custody orders and serve to police mostly all of rural Alaska. Alaska does have boroughs, which have some similarities but with lesser powers of lower-48 US counties, but only the North Slope Borough police truly functions similarly to a lower-48 county police agency and thus relieves AST of a need to be the primary police agency in this particular region.

The DPS is headed by a Commissioner appointed by the Governor. This person is actually a civilian administrator, though historically a career law enforcement officer and administrator. The Commissioner, if a sworn officer upon being appointed as such, may be appointed a "Special Alaska State Trooper" to maintain police powers. The Alaska State Troopers (AST) and Alaska Wildlife Troopers (AWT) are headed by ranking officers with the rank of Colonel.

History

The Troopers trace their heritage back more than a century, but there was no Alaska-wide police force until 1941, when the Territorial
Alaska Territory
The Territory of Alaska was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from August 24, 1912, until January 3, 1959, when it was admitted to the Union as the State of Alaska...

 Legislature
Alaska Legislature
The Alaska Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Alaska. It is a bicameral institution, consisting of the lower Alaska House of Representatives, with 40 members, and the upper house Alaska Senate, with 20 members...

 created the Alaska Highway Patrol. Territorial patrolmen only patrolled the main highways of Alaska and did not visit remote areas or regions. They were commissioned to only enforce traffic laws and were not police officers per se. They were eventually deputized as special deputy US Marshals
United States Marshals Service
The United States Marshals Service is a United States federal law enforcement agency within the United States Department of Justice . The office of U.S. Marshal is the oldest federal law enforcement office in the United States; it was created by the Judiciary Act of 1789...

 to fill this void in jurisdiction. The legislature refused to make them police officers until the agency was changed to Territorial Police and additional personnel were hired from the ranks of the US Marshals. The new agency became the Alaska Territorial Police in 1953 after a number of titles. Other titles were the Alaska State Police after statehood
Alaska Statehood Act
The Alaska Statehood Act was signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on July 7, 1958, allowing Alaska to become the 49th U.S. state on January 3, 1959.-History: the road to Statehood:...

 in 1959, and ultimately the Alaska State Troopers in 1967. In a unique pilot program, AK Troopers even drove ambulances as patrol vehicles in the 1960s, serving as both ambulance and law enforcement service to remote areas.

Before the founding of the Troopers, law enforcement in Alaska was performed by a succession of federal
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 agencies: first the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

, then the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 and Revenue Cutter Service
United States Revenue Cutter Service
The United States Revenue Cutter Service was established by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in 1790 as an armed maritime law enforcement service. Throughout its entire existence the Revenue Cutter Service operated under the authority of the United States Department of the Treasury...

, the US Custom Service and finally the United States Marshals Service
United States Marshals Service
The United States Marshals Service is a United States federal law enforcement agency within the United States Department of Justice . The office of U.S. Marshal is the oldest federal law enforcement office in the United States; it was created by the Judiciary Act of 1789...

 after a civil government
District of Alaska
The District of Alaska was the governmental designation for Alaska from May 17, 1884 to August 24, 1912, when it became Alaska Territory. Previously it had been known as the Department of Alaska. At the time, legislators in Washington, D.C., were occupied with post-Civil War reconstruction issues,...

 was formed in 1884.

The need for law enforcement became critical in the late 1800s as gold was discovered in Alaska. Gold rush towns had crime rates per capita that dwarfed those of modern US cities. Prostitution
Prostitution
Prostitution is the act or practice of providing sexual services to another person in return for payment. The person who receives payment for sexual services is called a prostitute and the person who receives such services is known by a multitude of terms, including a "john". Prostitution is one of...

, gambling
Gambling
Gambling is the wagering of money or something of material value on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning additional money and/or material goods...

, murder
Murder
Murder is the unlawful killing, with malice aforethought, of another human being, and generally this state of mind distinguishes murder from other forms of unlawful homicide...

, rape
Rape
Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse, which is initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person's consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or with a person who is incapable of valid consent. The...

, robbery
Robbery
Robbery is the crime of taking or attempting to take something of value by force or threat of force or by putting the victim in fear. At common law, robbery is defined as taking the property of another, with the intent to permanently deprive the person of that property, by means of force or fear....

, arson
Arson
Arson is the crime of intentionally or maliciously setting fire to structures or wildland areas. It may be distinguished from other causes such as spontaneous combustion and natural wildfires...

, kidnapping
Kidnapping
In criminal law, kidnapping is the taking away or transportation of a person against that person's will, usually to hold the person in false imprisonment, a confinement without legal authority...

, aggravated assault, and claim jumping incidents were rampant. Frightened citizens desperately cabled Washington for help. As a result, scores of Deputy US Marshals were deployed to Alaska. The Alaska Peace Officer Memorial chronicles the many brave Deputy US Marshals who died in the line of duty in early Alaska. The deputy marshals continued to be the main force of law in rural Alaska until the advent of the Alaska Troopers and many early-era troopers were former deputy US Marshals. Some cities began to charter police departments in the early 1900s.

Duties

The Division of Alaska State Troopers personnel are the general police arm of the agency. They are charged with statewide law enforcement, prevention of crime, pursuit and apprehension of offenders, service of civil and criminal process, prisoner transportation, central communications, and search and rescue. They perform traditional duties most associative with state police in lower-48 states.

The Division is divided into five detachments fore general policing and specific bureaus. Detachments A, B, C, D, and E, and Alaska Bureau of Investigation (ABI), Alaska State Fire Marshal Office, Alaska Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Enforcement (ABADE), Alaska Bureau of Highway Patrol, and Alaska Bureau of Judicial Services. Each Detachment is charged with Division responsibilities within a specific geographic area. Each Bureau is responsible for the statewide discharge of their specific duties and overall responsibilities. Both Detachments and Bureaus are responsible for ensuring efforts are made towards meeting the Division's core missions as it relates to their respective enforcement programs, public education, training, fiscal planning and implementation.

The Highway Patrol Bureau functions much like highway patrol
Highway patrol
A highway patrol is either a police unit created primarily for the purpose of overseeing and enforcing traffic safety compliance on roads and highways, or a detail within an existing local or regional police agency that is primarily concerned with such duties.Duties of highway patrols or traffic...

 agencies of the lower-48 states, with emphasis on major and fatal traffic collisions, speed enforcement, DUI enforcement and preventative traffic patrol and enforcement, especially on areas like the Parks Highway near Denali National Park. These Troopers receive specialized training in DUI enforcement, traffic collision investigation, reconstruction and speed enforcement.

ABI provides specialized investigative support to smaller agencies requesting help in cases and it provides detective services to all areas not served by local police. ABI investigators are specially selected and trained investigators who also assist in federal cases and receive specialized investigative and technical instruction throughout their careers.

State Fire Marshal personnel are referred to as deputy fire marshals. These deputies have full police powers. They investigate cause and origin of major fires involving significant monetary loss, loss of critical buildings or any suspicious fire that results in death or serious injury. They also assist local agencies and authorities in fire cause and origin investigations. They also investigate explosions and often work with the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE). They receive specialized training from facilities such as the US Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, MD.

ABADE personnel are assigned to investigate drug and vice offenses, such as drug manufacturing, smuggling, illegal gambling, prostitution, child sex exploitation and human trafficking. They often work on task forces and in undercover assignments throughout the state. They also work with local agencies and the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), US Customs Service and US Postal Inspectors in mail smuggling cases, notably in rural areas.

Judicial Services Bureau officers are peace officer
Peace officer
A law enforcement officer , in North America, is any public-sector employee or agent whose duties involve the enforcement of laws. The phrase can include police officers, prison officers, customs officers, immigration officers, bailiffs, probation officers, parole officers, auxiliary officers, and...

s who perform duties traditionally associated with "bailiff
Bailiff
A bailiff is a governor or custodian ; a legal officer to whom some degree of authority, care or jurisdiction is committed...

s" in the lower-48 sheriff agencies: court security and control of prisoners awaiting trial, along with enforcing the orders of the judge in the courtroom.

The State Scientific Crime Detection Lab: The lab is located in Anchorage is fully equipped to provide support and analysis of DNA, blood drug and alcohol blood and breath test screening, fingerprint examination, foot and tire impression analysis, firearm analysis, tool mark analysis, drug exam, fire and explosion trace evidence analysis, UV exam and technology analytical services. The lab serves all of Alaska with certified, highly trained technicians and forensic examiners. AK DPS crime lab personnel are considered among the most proficient examiners in the world to examine. They provide investigative training to police on these techniques.

DPS Academy: The academy in Sitka, located across from the now-closed Sheldon-Jackson College is the main police training academy of the state. With the guidelines of the Alaska Police Standards Council (APSC), the academy trains trooper and DPS officers in basic training, in addition to also training local law enforcement officers. DPS trooper personnel remain at the academy for additional "trooper-specific" training once the basic Alaska Law Enforcement Training (ALET) class graduates. The academy is rigorous and paramilitary
Paramilitary
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....

. The other public academy in the state is not a DPS affiliate but is APSC-approved. It is the TVC police academy located at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks campus. The City of Anchorage also has an internal ALET academy for its own officers and it occasionally offers in-service classes to other agency personnel. The DPS Academy instructors are given the rank and title of "corporal" the only place in the AST where this rank is used. This assignment can be a stepping stone to promotion and only the most elite of troopers are made training corporals, based on leadership, ability to train, fitness, aptitude, shooting ability and general appearance.

The Division of Wildlife Troopers is charged also with statewide law enforcement, the same as the State Trooper Division. These troopers perform duties most common with that of game warden
Game warden
A game warden is an employee who has the role of protecting wildlife. Game wardens may also be referred to as conservation officers or wildlife officers...

s and wildlife conservation
Wildlife conservation
Wildlife conservation is the preservation, protection, or restoration of wildlife and their environment, especially in relation to endangered and vulnerable species. All living non-domesticated animals, even if bred, hatched or born in captivity, are considered wild animals. Wildlife represents all...

 or marine patrol officers in the lower-48 states but also make arrests for any crimes. AWT Troopers enforce traffic laws and respond to calls for police services as needed. AWT Troopers are nicknamed "brown shirts" by Alaskans. The division has a rank structure of its own the same as the blue shirts from Trooper to Colonel. The AWT Troopers operate more in boats and aircraft and many troopers are pilots. AWT operates statewide. They have several large seagoing ships with civilian crews and sworn troopers on board for enforcement actions in commercial fishing enforcement and search and rescue. AWT has a core mission of protecting natural resources through hunting and fishing law enforcement. They also aggressively enforce boating safety laws and investigate boating accidents. AWT Troopers enforce federal laws by memorandums of Agreement (MOA) with the US government regarding endangered species. AWT regularly works with and assists federal law enforcement agency personnel such as US Marine Fisheries Service, US Coast Guard, US Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service, US Park Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service in conservation law enforcement.

Mission

The Alaska State Troopers' six core missions in meeting these responsibilities are:
  • reduce the impact of drugs and alcohol on communities through statewide drug and alcohol enforcement;
  • provide professional, effective and efficient statewide major crime investigations;
  • provide prompt professional proactive and reactive rural public safety services;
  • protect Alaska's fish and wildlife resources through enforcement programs;
  • enhance public safety through highway traffic enforcement and education;
  • provide quality statewide training.

National Security and post 9-11 roles

The Alaska State Troopers trace special duties back to the onset of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, when Territorial Highway Patrolmen watched for Japanese invaders and saboteurs by guarding and patrolling Alaska seaports, railroad tracks, airports, military posts and other important facilities. This was especially critical following the invasion of Alaska by the Japanese. Territorial patrolmen also assisted the military by arresting deserters and AWOLS from the armed forces.

After the 9-11 attacks, Alaska State Troopers were recognized by the US government as being in an extremely valuable and unique position and thus a critical asset to national security. Alaska is by distance close to a terrorist/nuclear-armed nation - North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

 - and even closer to communist China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. Alaska actually borders Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and these factors have caused AST to have a historic role in National Security. AST and ABI in particular, assist the FBI, US Department of Homeland Security and other federal and military agencies in protecting the US from terrorist activity. ABI assisted the FBI in 2009 in a high-profile preemptive terrorism investigation that resulted in the arrest of a man and woman who were radical islamist converts and who were planning terrorist attacks from King Salmon, AK. Trooper aircraft historically kept a watchful eye for intrusions into US airspace by soviet aircraft during the Cold War. As a state entity, AST pilots and aviation assets continue to watch over Alaskan airspace to date in conjunction with the Alaska Wing of the Civil Air Patrol
Civil Air Patrol
Civil Air Patrol is a Congressionally chartered, federally supported, non-profit corporation that serves as the official civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force . CAP is a volunteer organization with an aviation-minded membership that includes people from all backgrounds, lifestyles, and...

 (CAP), in providing protection from threats to national security as it assist the US Coast Guard, US Air Force and US Army air operations as requested.

Rank Structure

Rank Insignia
Colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

Major
Major
Major is a rank of commissioned officer, with corresponding ranks existing in almost every military in the world.When used unhyphenated, in conjunction with no other indicator of rank, the term refers to the rank just senior to that of an Army captain and just below the rank of lieutenant colonel. ...

Captain
Police captain
- France :France uses the rank of capitaine for management duties in both uniformed and plain-clothed policing. The rank comes senior to lieutenant and junior to commandant....

Lieutenant
Lieutenant
A lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer in many nations' armed forces. Typically, the rank of lieutenant in naval usage, while still a junior officer rank, is senior to the army rank...

Sergeant
Sergeant
Sergeant is a rank used in some form by most militaries, police forces, and other uniformed organizations around the world. Its origins are the Latin serviens, "one who serves", through the French term Sergent....

Corporal
Corporal
Corporal is a rank in use in some form by most militaries and by some police forces or other uniformed organizations. It is usually equivalent to NATO Rank Code OR-4....

Trooper
Trooper (police rank)
Trooper is a rank used by several civilian police forces in the United States. In its plural form, troopers, it generally refers to members of state highway patrol or state police agencies, even though those officers may not necessarily be of the rank of trooper.For example, in the Louisiana State...


The Alaska Department of Public Safety Training Academy

The Alaska State Trooper DPS Academy is located in the Sawmill Creek area of Sitka
Sitka City and Borough, Alaska
The City and Borough of Sitka, originally called New Archangel under Russian Rule, is a unified city-borough located on Baranof Island and the southern half of Chichagof Island in the Alexander Archipelago of the Pacific Ocean , in the U.S...

, Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

. With recent television exposure on the National Geographic reality television series "Alaska State Troopers", the DPS Academy is known worldwide as a premier police training institution, as it trains recruits of the Alaska State Troopers, State fire marshals, Village Public Safety Officers (VPSO's) as well as other law enforcement personnel, including Alaska's several state universities campus police departments, state parks law enforcement rangers, state airport police officers and various municipal police officers. The facility has dorms, classrooms, exhibits, a gym and a nearby firing range. The academy was built because of the traditional association and shared use of facilities of the campus of the adjacent and now defunct Sheldon-Jackson College.

The academy is technically known as the Alaska Department of Public Safety Training Academy (also the DPS Academy). The academy staff provides state-of-the art basic and in-service training to recruits, law enforcement officers, peace officers and public safety personnel from across Alaska. The rigorous nature of the basic ALET training course offered at the academy is a challenge to students who are referred to as cadets. Basic classes often have members quit due to the round-the-clock physical and mental rigors of the paramilitary training course.

In keeping with the historically close and unique working relationship between Alaska civil law enforcement and the military law enforcement arms of the US Armed Forces, law enforcement personnel of the US Army Military Police, US Air Force Security Forces and US Coast Guard Maritime Law Enforcement Service are picked by their respective commands to attend slots in the DPS Academy that are reserved for the military services. Such training is a special career advancement opportunity for military law enforcement personnel from various Commands in Alaska and being selected to attend the AK DPS Academy is a highly competitive and sought-after opportunity that is considered to be a career highlight and honor. Only the most elite of military law enforcement personnel are selected to attend.

Canadian law enforcement officers, most notably the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) often attend special training courses and firearms competitions at the Academy. The RCMP is an official "friendship" agency with the AST and long and historic ties in working with Troopers.

In-service training is offered to Troopers annually and additional specialized course are offered to law enforcement, public safety and military personnel at various times each year.

The academy offers two full Alaska Law Enforcement Training (ALET) courses a year and one "mini" academy of 80 hours/2 weeks for former AK and out-of-state officers who wish to reenter or enter Alaska law enforcement. The full 15-week program gives state trooper and municipal officer recruits the basic academy certificate required by the Alaska Police Standards Council (APSC) as does the mini-academy for completion of credentialing for approved partially certified, retired, former and out-of-state officers.

The current Academy officially opened its doors in October 1974, though a number of basic classes had been offered at Sheldon Jackson as far back as 1969, with a two-week basic course offered for new troopers.

Several additions to the Academy facility have been made since 1974, including a new wing with dorm rooms and separate restrooms and shower facilities for females. A weight training facility and multipurpose-recreation room was added in 2001.

In 2004 a completely new and state-of-the art firearms training range was built in cooperation with the City and Borough of Sitka about 7 miles (11 km) from the academy's main facility. This range is also used by Sitka Police and several federal law enforcement agencies with offices in the region. The facility has a complete indoor classroom and long-range lanes of firing points, for both rifles, shotguns and pistols. There is a qualification and stress course set up, with dim lighting capabilities for low-light and nighttime firing, among other features.

The Academy offers a small museum, showing displays of historic weapons, equipment and uniforms, along with other exhibits related to the history and training of AK Troopers and their predecessor officers and agencies through the history of Alaska, as both a Territory and as the 49th State.

A small on-campus gift shop sells academy oriented and Alaska State Trooper-related gifts and memorabilia such as tactical gear, patches, sweat shirts, tee shirts, logo mugs and other such items.

Plans were underway in 2011 to build a cafeteria on the campus of the Academy. With the closure of Sheldon Jackson College and its cafeteria, academy recruits and students there for in-service training had no nearby or regular dining facility and had to be bussed to a meal counter at a local fish cannery.

Village Public Safety Officer Program

The Alaska State Troopers also manage the Village Public Safety Officer program, which provides a peace officer presence in remote villages with no police departments and that are too small for a trooper post. VPSO's are state trained and certified peace officers but not fully credentialed Alaska police officers. They carry no firearms but are considered to be Alaska Law Enforcement Training (ALET) equivalency certified. The VPSO 8-week training course at the DPS Academy mirrors the ALET program except that VPSO's do not receive basic emergency vehicle operation course (EVOC) and firearms training. If a VPSO should later opt to join a police department after completion of VPSO training, the only required additional training would be the syllabuses in firearms and EVOC, unless the hiring agency requires completion of the entire ALET course at its discretion.

VPSO's are supervised by a designated area Troopers and carry out basic police tasks such as emergency call response, juvenile offense investigations, protective custody holds of inebriates, assistance to social workers and medical providers, crime scene preservation, issuance of citations for misdemeanor and non-criminal violation offenses, misdemeanor arrests and detention of felony suspects for surrender to troopers, wildlife
Wildlife
Wildlife includes all non-domesticated plants, animals and other organisms. Domesticating wild plant and animal species for human benefit has occurred many times all over the planet, and has a major impact on the environment, both positive and negative....

 protection through the Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement, engage in search and rescue
Search and rescue
Search and rescue is the search for and provision of aid to people who are in distress or imminent danger.The general field of search and rescue includes many specialty sub-fields, mostly based upon terrain considerations...

 of missing persons and perform services usually performed by county
County (United States)
In the United States, a county is a geographic subdivision of a state , usually assigned some governmental authority. The term "county" is used in 48 of the 50 states; Louisiana is divided into parishes and Alaska into boroughs. Parishes and boroughs are called "county-equivalents" by the U.S...

 sheriff
Sheriff
A sheriff is in principle a legal official with responsibility for a county. In practice, the specific combination of legal, political, and ceremonial duties of a sheriff varies greatly from country to country....

's departments in other states, such as prison
Prison
A prison is a place in which people are physically confined and, usually, deprived of a range of personal freedoms. Imprisonment or incarceration is a legal penalty that may be imposed by the state for the commission of a crime...

er transport. Because VPSO's do not carry firearms, they are trained with non lethal weapons, such as pepper spray and expandable batons. VPSO's usually receive Alaska Firefighter-I training and either Alaska Emergency Medical Technician-I (EMT-I) or Alaska Emergency Trauma Technician (ETT) in addition to the basic training. Alaska State Troopers Website]

The Village Public Safety Officer Program began in the late 1970s as a means of providing rural Alaskan communities with needed public safety services at the local level. The program was created to reduce the loss of life due to fires, drowning, lost person, and the lack of immediate emergency medical assistance in rural communities. The Village Public Safety Officer Program was designed to train and employ individuals residing in the village as first responders to public safety emergencies such as search and rescue, fire protection, emergency medical assistance, crime prevention and basic law enforcement. Recent pay raises and expanded training have improved the retention and recruitment of VPSO's though some rural residents continue to resent that they are not afforded full police officer protection and some have tried to challenge reduced police powers of the VPSO's by legal means.

Fallen officers

Since the establishment of the Alaska State Troopers, 11 officers have died in the line of duty.
Officer Date of Death Details
Trooper Dennis Finbar Cronin
Monday, February 18, 1974
Gunfire
Trooper Larry Robert Carr
Wednesday, December 11, 1974
Aircraft accident
Trooper Frank Stuart Rodman
Wednesday, December 11, 1974
Aircraft accident
Trooper Roland Edgar (Skip) Chevalier Jr.
Saturday, April 3, 1982
Gunfire
Wildlife Sergeant John David Stimson
Friday, January 14, 1983
Exposure
Trooper Troy Lynn Duncan
Saturday, May 19, 1984
Gunfire
Sergeant Robert Lee Bittick
Tuesday, October 11, 1994
Aircraft accident
Trooper Bruce Alan Heck
Friday, January 10, 1997
Assault
Wildlife Sergeant David C. Churchill
Wednesday, September 16, 1998
Heart attack
Wildlife Trooper James A. Moen
Monday, June 25, 2001
Aircraft accident
Trooper Hans-Peter Roelle
Saturday, November 24, 2001
Gunfire

Firearms

Name Type Caliber Origin Notes
Glock 22  Pistol .40 S&W
.40 S&W
The .40 S&W is a rimless pistol cartridge developed jointly by major American firearms manufacturers Winchester and Smith & Wesson. The .40 S&W was developed from the ground up as a law enforcement cartridge designed to duplicate performance of the FBI's reduced velocity 10mm cartridge which could...

Remington 870
Remington 870
The Remington Model 870 is a U.S.-made pump-action shotgun manufactured by Remington Arms Company, Inc. It is widely used by the public for sport shooting, hunting, and self-defense. It is also commonly used by law enforcement and military organizations worldwide.-Development:The Remington 870 was...

 
Shotgun 12 Gauge
Gauge (bore diameter)
The gauge of a firearm is a unit of measurement used to express the diameter of the barrel. Gauge is determined from the weight of a solid sphere of lead that will fit the bore of the firearm, and is expressed as the multiplicative inverse of the sphere's weight as a fraction of a pound . Thus...

 
Colt AR-15  Patrol Rifle 5.56mm 
Heckler & Koch MP5
Heckler & Koch MP5
The Heckler & Koch MP5 is a 9mm submachine gun of German design, developed in the 1960s by a team of engineers from the German small arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch GmbH of Oberndorf am Neckar....

 
Sub-Machine Gun 9x19  Special Emergency Response Team only
FN P90
FN P90
The FN P90 is a selective fire personal defense weapon designed and manufactured by FN Herstal in Belgium. The P90's name is taken from 1990, the year it was introduced...

 
Personal Defense Weapon
Personal defense weapon
A personal defense weapon is a compact semi-automatic or fully automatic firearm similar in most respects to a submachine gun, but firing an armor-piercing rifle round, giving a PDW better range, accuracy and armor-penetrating capability than submachine guns, which fire pistol-caliber cartridges...

 
5.7x28mm  Special Emergency Response Team only
Remington 700
Remington 700
The Model 700 series of firearms are bolt-action rifles manufactured by Remington Arms since 1962. All are based on the same centerfire bolt action. They often come with a 3, 4 or 5-round internal magazine depending on caliber, some of which have a floor-plate for quick-unloading, and some of which...

 
Sniper Rifle .308  Special Emergency Response Team only

Vehicles

The Alaska State Troopers operate the following vehicles:
  • Chevy Express Van
    Chevrolet Express
    The Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana are full-size vans from General Motors. They replaced the Chevrolet Van and GMC Vandura in 1996. The Express and Savana currently hold 44.8% of the full-size van market in the United States, just behind rival Ford's E-Series...

     
  • Chevrolet Impala
    Chevrolet Impala
    The Chevrolet Impala is a full-size automobile built by the Chevrolet division of General Motors introduced for the 1958 model year. Deriving its name from the southern African antelope, Chevrolet's most expensive passenger model through 1965 had become the best-selling automobile in the United...

     
  • Chevy pickup truck
    Chevrolet Silverado
    The Chevrolet Silverado , is the latest line of full-size pickup trucks from General Motors.-History:...

     
  • Dodge Charger
    Dodge Charger
    The Dodge Charger is an American automobile manufactured by the Dodge division of Chrysler. There have been several different Dodge vehicles, built on three different platforms and sizes, all bearing the Charger nameplate...

     
  • Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor
    Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor
    Though the name has been officially in use since 1992, the 1978–1991 full-size LTDs and LTD Crown Victorias and 1992 updated body style used the "P72" production code designation for both fleet/taxi and police models, with the model itself being internally classified as S...

     
  • Ford Expedition
    Ford Expedition
    The Ford Expedition is a full-size SUV built by the Ford Motor Company. Introduced in 1997 as a replacement to the Ford Bronco, it was previously slotted between the smaller Ford Explorer and the larger Ford Excursion, but as of the 2005 model year, it is Ford's largest and last truck-based,...

     
  • Ford F-250 

Aircraft

  • Beechcraft Super King Air
    Beechcraft Super King Air
    The Beechcraft Super King Air family is part of a line of twin-turboprop aircraft produced by the Beech Aircraft Corporation . The King Air line comprises a number of model series that fall into two families: the Model 90 series, Model 100 series , Model 200 series and Model 300 series...

     
  • Cessna 185
    Cessna 185
    -Specification for differing configurations:-References:* Jan Churchill, Hit My Smoke: Forward Air Controllers in Southeast Asia, Sunflower University Press, Manhattan KS, ISBN 0-89745-215-1...

     
  • Cessna 208
    Cessna 208
    The Cessna 208 Caravan is a single turboprop engine, fixed-gear short-haul regional airliner and utility aircraft built in the United States by Cessna. The airplane typically seats nine passengers, with a single person crew, although with a FAR Part 23 waiver, it can seat up to fourteen passengers...

     
  • Eurocopter AS350 
  • Piper PA-18 
  • Robinson R44
    Robinson R44
    |-See also:-External links:* * * * * *...

     

Museum

The Alaska State Troopers Museum is a small museum in downtown Anchorage, operated by the Fraternal Order of Alaska State Troopers. The museum commemorates the Alaska State Troopers and features a variety of historical memorabilia, including a restored 1952 Hudson Hornet patrol car.

In popular culture

The National Geographic hit television reality series Alaska State Troopers
Alaska State Troopers (TV series)
Alaska State Troopers is an American documentary television series on the National Geographic Channel. The show primarily follows the daily beats of various bureaus within the Alaska State Troopers. In addition the show features segments that follow village public safety officers from small rural...

 accompanies troopers throughout the state as they perform their various duties. The show depicts firsthand, the short-handed troopers in their harsh and dangerous duties of the AST. The show has been very positively received worldwide and is credited with a peak in interest by people wanting to serve as an Alaska Trooper or other peace officer in Alaska.

Alaska State Troopers appear prominently and regularly on other TV reality shows such as Ice Road Truckers
Ice Road Truckers
Ice Road Truckers is a documentary-style reality television series that premiered on History on June 17, 2007.-History:In 2000, History aired a 46-minute episode titled "Ice Road Truckers" as part of the Suicide Missions series...

, Tougher in Alaska
Tougher In Alaska
Tougher In Alaska was a program on the History Channel that was a part of the network's "American Original Series" lineup. Starring long-time Alaska resident Geo Beach, the program explored the dangerous and extraordinary efforts put forth by Alaskans to perform jobs and provide services in such a...

and Deadliest Catch
Deadliest Catch
Deadliest Catch is a documentary/reality television series produced by Original Productions for the Discovery Channel. It portrays the real life events aboard fishing vessels in the Bering Sea during the Alaskan king crab and C. opilio crab fishing seasons.The Aleutian Islands port of Dutch Harbor,...

.

Alaska State Troopers were highly visible during the 2008 Presidential campaign, providing security detail supplemental personnel to the US Secret Service while protecting former Alaska Governor and Republican Vice presidential candidate Sarah H. Palin.

See also

  • List of law enforcement agencies in Alaska
  • Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Dismissal
    Alaska Public Safety Commissioner dismissal
    The Alaska Public Safety Commissioner dismissal, also known as Troopergate, involves the July 2008 dismissal of the Public Safety Commissioner for the State of Alaska by Governor Sarah Palin....

  • State police
    State police
    State police are a type of sub-national territorial police force, particularly in Australia and the United States. Some other countries have analogous police forces, such as the provincial police in some Canadian provinces, while in other places, the same responsibilities are held by national...

  • State patrol
  • Highway patrol
    Highway patrol
    A highway patrol is either a police unit created primarily for the purpose of overseeing and enforcing traffic safety compliance on roads and highways, or a detail within an existing local or regional police agency that is primarily concerned with such duties.Duties of highway patrols or traffic...



External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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