By Lieutenant Derek DeGraaf
Most of Alaska is remote and sparsely populated, presenting profound challenges for public safety. Serving in the Last Frontier takes a special breed of officer.
Whether it be long travel distances, inclement weather, or challenging terrain, Alaska State Troopers overcome incredible challenges every day to serve our citizens.
We train to meet incredible challenges. To earn the privilege of serving in this honored role, recruits must succeed in a demanding, paramilitary-style academy, then complete a challenging Field Training and Evaluation Program in one of our urban posts. Later in their careers, many will serve in a rural environment where their problem-solving skills and resolve will be tested.
Serving as an Alaska State Trooper does not require law enforcement experience. We will train you.
Most of our new Troopers have no law enforcement experience. You will receive your full salary at our academy while you train in the most challenging law enforcement curriculum in Alaska. You will learn the skills, receive the best gear, and become prepared to tackle the challenges that the Last Frontier brings.
Many ask, do I have to begin my career in a rural environment? The answer is no. All new Troopers work in either Palmer, Fairbanks, or Soldotna for their first few years. Later in your career, you’ll be expected to volunteer for positions statewide that are awarded based on seniority. Don’t like rain? Don’t bid Ketchikan. Don’t like the frigid cold? Don’t bid Tok. Don’t like the city? You will love this job. Want to earn more? Move to western Alaska where the pay increases by up by 60%. It is challenging, but anything worth doing is difficult. Often, our law enforcement friends tell us, “I am amazed at what you Troopers do.” We agree, our Troopers have one of the most challenging jobs in this country, and if you seek the easy road, this agency is not for you. We have several career paths to choose from.
Serving as a Trooper takes on many shapes and form. Much of what makes our agency unique relates to the remote nature of Alaska. Rural service requires resourceful, independent thinkers who can rise to the challenge of delivering police services across this vast land. Our Troopers are not confined to working basic investigations or security details. They are uniformed investigators, working complex felony investigations for most of their careers.
Major Crimes/Child Abuse Investigation
An assignment to a major crimes unit will allow you to develop skills in crime scene investigations, forensic science and suspect, witness, and victim interviews as you chase Alaska’s most dangerous criminals.
Other Specialized Units
Many other units work hard supporting our Troopers in the field. Among these are the Technical Crimes Unit, K-9 Handlers, the Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT), Polygraph Examiners, Special Crimes Investigation Unit, or even a federal task force.
Getting to the Scene
Alaska has few roads, creating an interesting challenge for Troopers to get around. In response, many of our Troopers are pilots, and we have the largest fixed-wing aircraft fleet of any state agency in the nation. We use planes, boats, helicopters and snow machines to get us where we are needed.
Troopers can transfer from duties as an Alaska State Trooper to an Alaska Wildlife Trooper through a simple bid process. Wildlife Troopers serve from remote parts of the backcountry all the way to Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage. They protect our valuable resources and are often recognized by their marked Trooper pickup trucks with a four-wheeler or snow machine in the bed.
The Alaska State Troopers drug units often work in tandem with police departments throughout Alaska and help to curb the importation and sales of illegal drugs and alcohol into our communities. Our Troopers do an incredible job of interdicting drugs from Ketchikan to Kotzebue. A plain-clothes drug investigator assignment is a highly coveted position sought by Troopers throughout Alaska. We have drug units in Anchorage, Wasilla, Fairbanks, Soldotna, Juneau, Ketchikan, Soldotna, Bethel, Nome, and Kotzebue.
Search and Rescue
Did you know that the Alaska State Troopers are responsible for most search and rescue operations in Alaska? We conduct nearly 400 search and rescues every year despite inclement weather and challenging terrain.
We have the biggest mission in the largest state. Serving throughout Alaska will give you a lifetime of achievement and pride, knowing you tackled the hardest mission in the Last Frontier. You will experience pride beyond belief and when someone asks, “what do you do for a living” the answer won’t be something mundane. You can say, “I am an Alaska State Trooper.” Ask yourself, right now: “Are you where you want to be?
Find out more at www.alaskastateTrooper.com.