One of the most profound barriers is a lack of positive interactions with the public. Public safety is a tricky business – people usually call us when they are having a really bad day; therefore, most police contacts are negative contacts. In order to create a relationship with a potential Trooper that results in a job application, we must have significant contact with the applicant in a positive way and that isn’t happening often enough. When it does occur, it’s most often when someone spends time with a Trooper off-duty. These positive contacts are extremely resource-intensive to create during the duty day. Funds to support programs that would help in this way are hard to find.
In hopes of obtaining more diversity in our ranks, going forward the DPS plans to continue to recruit heavily amongst diverse groups as well as the military branches. We’ll continue investing time in applicants from underrepresented groups and we’ll continue advertising through organizations with diverse reader/viewership. As other opportunities to interact with diverse groups present themselves, we’ll engage as fully as our resources allow. Additionally, the department will stand up an internal Diversity in Recruitment and Retention workgroup tasked with providing recommendations on increasing the diversity of state trooper applicant pools, identifying barriers to application and/or retention, and recommending strategies for a diverse workforce within DPS.
What we ask the public in return is to give us a chance. Give us a call if law enforcement work is something you’d consider. We’re looking for people who are honest, hardworking, and have a heart for public service. You don’t need to know how to do this kind of work because we can teach you that. What we can’t teach is how to be kind. How to be honest. How to work hard and how to serve people in our state when they’re having a rough day. We have to hire those qualities, and if that’s you, we’d love to talk to you about becoming an Alaska State Trooper.
People can learn more about becoming a trooper and the process at www.alaskastatetrooper.com