Press Releases

11/30/15 DPS PR #15-034

New Patrol Unit to Help Manage Violent Crime Cases in the Y-K Delta

(BETHEL, Alaska) – The Alaska State Troopers Bethel Patrol is adjusting the way it responds to significant violent crimes in Yukon-Kuskokwim (YK) Delta posts. The Violent Offenders Unit (VOU) comprised of a patrol sergeant and two patrol troopers, pulled from the Bethel Patrol post, will provide dedicated intensive and focused investigations into violent crimes, to include murder, robbery, sexual assault, sexual abuse of a minor, and felony assault. Though this transition has been occurring since mid-September, the unit officially will be established on Dec. 1, 2015.

The YK Delta is an area comprised of 56 villages with public safety services provided by troopers assigned to 5 posts in the region.  The YK Delta region, with a population of about 30,000 residents, historically has maintained some of the highest rates of violent crime in Alaska and the Nation.  Department records show that over 24% of all Sexual Assault and Sexual Abuse of a Minor Cases, investigated by AST, were investigated by the Bethel Post Troopers.

“The creation of the VOU will allow other Bethel patrol troopers to focus on their assigned investigations and to provide more emphasis on community policing and village oversight,” said Alaska State Trooper Captain Barry Wilson, Commander of C Detachment. “While it is not possible to remove all significant crime investigation from the other patrol troopers, a percentage can be taken on to increase the productivity of the investigations across the region.” 

The VOU will additionally be tasked with providing support to the Troopers in posts outside of the Bethel Post.  This will often include adult and child victim interviews as part of the Bethel Multi-Disciplinary and Sexual Assault Response Teams.

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11/14/15 DPS PR #15-033

Troopers Preparing for Click It or Ticket Campaign for Thanksgiving Holiday

(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) – Listen up, Pilgrim. Buckle that seat belt because the Alaska State Troopers will be out conducting extra traffic enforcement efforts to ensure the safety of Alaskans while they celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday. While patrols will be focused on seat belt enforcement, troopers will also be watching for impaired driving, speeding, aggressive driving, and distracted driving. The intention of the focused enforcement is to bring the number of major-injury or fatal collisions on Alaska’s roads down to zero.

Complementing the enforcement effort is the release of our newest seat belt PSA: CIOT Showing Up. The ad can be viewed on the DPS website or You Tube:

CIOT Showing Up Nov 2015 (.wmv)

Regardless of what your ultimate plans are for Thanksgiving, Troopers encourage you to always practice safe driving behaviors on the roads while traveling to and from your destination. If you are in a vehicle, you should always wear your seatbelt and encourage those around you to do the same. Children in vehicles should be properly restrained using the appropriate safety equipment whether it be a seatbelt, a booster seat or a car seat.

Troopers also encourage everyone to Report Every Dangerous Driver Immediately by calling 9‐1‐1.

Funding for the public service announcement was provided by grant sources distributed through the Alaska Highway Safety Office.

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11/12/15 DPS PR #15-032

17 To Graduate from Public Safety Training Academy

(SITKA, Alaska) – A class of 17, including four state troopers and two Village Public Safety Officers, will graduate from the Public Safety Training Academy in Sitka tomorrow. The 1 p.m. graduation ceremony at the Sheet’ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi Tribal Community House concludes Alaska Law Enforcement Training (ALET) Session No. 15-02. To get to this point, the 17 law enforcement students from around the state went through 900 hours of training in the 15-week basic ALET. The training incorporates intensive instruction in law enforcement-related topics, physical fitness and many scenario-based exercises – all designed to prepare entry level police officers, Village Public Safety Officers and troopers for a successful career in Alaska law enforcement.

The graduates are:
Dave Atteberry, Tanana Chiefs Conference (VPSO)
William Bottorf, Juneau Police
Casey Camp, Juneau Police
Bradley Garasky, Alaska State Parks
Alexander Harrington, Alaska State Troopers
Antoni Hoiby, Bristol Bay Borough Police
Scott Johnson, self pay
Michael Kay, Alaska State Troopers
Buford Kopanuk, Association of Village Council Presidents (VPSO)
Tyler Mallory, Seward Police
Lauren McKinley, Alaska State Troopers
Sean O’Connor, Soldotna Police
Ryan Pasternak, Anchorage Airport Police & Fire
Colleen Reeves, Juneau Police
Nicholas Sleeth, Anchorage Airport Police & Fire
Jason Somerville, Alaska State Troopers
Sam Suplin, Anchorage Airport Police & Fire

After graduation, the four Alaska State Trooper recruits continue their training at the academy for an additional three weeks. This training session is often referred to as Trooper Basic. The trooper recruits receive more tailored and advanced training during this session in fish and wildlife investigations, boating safety, survival, commercial fisheries enforcement, media relations, critical stress management, patrol rifle training and search and rescue. They are also exposed to additional scenario-based training events.

Upon completion of Trooper Basic, trooper recruits will move to their first duty assignment in either Fairbanks, Soldotna or the Mat-Su Valley and begin a 12-week Field Training and Evaluation Program. All trooper recruits are expected to develop to the point of being able to perform all law enforcement functions independently and if successful, will be promoted to trooper upon the successful completion of their probationary period, generally 12 months from the start of the academy.

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