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DPS Announces Leadership Changes

First African American Alaska State Trooper Colonel Appointed

August 31, 2022 (ANCHORAGE, AK) –  Governor Mike Dunleavy and Alaska Department of Public Safety Commissioner James Cockrell are pleased to announce two leadership changes at DPS. Alaska State Trooper Colonel Bryan Barlow has been promoted to Deputy Commissioner for the Department, and Captain Maurice “Mo” Hughes has been promoted to Colonel of the Alaska State Troopers. Deputy Commissioner Leon Morgan has announced his retirement from state service after over 25 years of distinguished law enforcement service in Alaska. 


“Public Safety has been job number one for my administration since I took office. The Alaska Department of Public Safety is leading the charge to make our state a safer place to live, work, and raise a family. The appointment of Bryan Barlow and Mo Hughes to these leadership roles will continue the tradition of excellence that DPS is known for, and I look forward to working with them,” said Governor Mike Dunleavy. “The Alaska State Troopers are the tip of the spear for law enforcement service across the state by investigating serious crimes, leading drug interdiction efforts across the state, and responding to calls for help in some of the most remote areas of our state.”  


Deputy Commissioner Bryan Barlow has served as Director of the Division of Alaska State Troopers since January 2020. DC Barlow has been an Alaska State Trooper since March 1999, and during his career, he has patrolled Fairbanks, Ninilchik, Ketchikan, the villages of Interior Alaska, and Girdwood. He has worked as a department pilot, Special Emergency Reaction Team member, firearms instructor, crisis negotiator, and ethics instructor. DC Barlow is also a graduate of the Southern Police Institute Administrative Officers Course and FBI National Executive Institute. Barlow has worked in several supervisory and management positions within DPS, including sergeant, lieutenant, and major. 


“I have worked with Mo and Bryan throughout my 30-year career with the Alaska Department of Public Safety. I know they will help continue to drive the positive momentum our department has been experiencing under Governor Dunleavy’s administration. I know both men have exceptional leadership skills and are the best choices to help lead our department,” said Alaska Department of Public Safety Commissioner James Cockrell. “I would also like to thank Leon Morgan for his dedicated service to Alaskans over his 25 year career in law enforcement. He has helped lead several significant projects during his tenure as deputy commissioner and will be missed.”


Colonel Maurice “Mo” Hughes has served as the Commander of A Detachment for the Alaska State Troopers, which covers southeast and the Kenai Peninsula, since 2016. Colonel Hughes is the first African American to serve as the Colonel of the Alaska State Troopers or serve above the rank of Captain. Colonel Hughes began his career with the Alaska State Troopers in 1990, and since his appointment, he has worked in Soldotna, Delta Junction, Kodiak, and Anchorage. Hughes also spent portions of his career working in the Alaska State Trooper recruitment unit, supervising Western Alaska Troopers, and overseeing Court Services Officers in the Anchorage area. He has worked as a K9 handler, member of the Tracking Team, and firearms instructor. He graduated from the FBI National Academy, holds an advanced police certificate, and is a certified police instructor in Alaska. 


“The Alaska Department of Public Safety and our 950 dedicated employees are truly making a difference each day in countless lives across our state, and it is a distinct privilege to help lead them,” stated Deputy Commissioner Bryan Barlow. “I look forward to working closely with Governor Dunleavy and Commissioner Cockrell to continue growing our department in both urban and rural Alaska and building on our storied history.”


“It is the honor of a lifetime to serve Alaskans as the Colonel of the Alaska State Troopers and lead the nation’s most elite law enforcement agency into the future,” said Colonel Mo Hughes, Director of the Division of Alaska State Troopers. “Becoming the first African American Colonel of the Alaska State Troopers is a historical moment and represents the diversity of the Alaska State Troopers. I want to thank a few of those African American leaders that came before and led the way for others, such as Dr. Ed Rhodes, a retired Alaska State Trooper Lieutenant who was the first African American Alaska State Trooper; Alaska State Defense Force Brigadier General Simon Brown the first African American Alaska State Trooper Captain; and Alaska State Trooper B Detachment Commander Captain Tony April, the second African American Alaska State Trooper Captain.”


The appointments are effective September 1, 2022.


A photo of Deputy Commissioner Bryan Barlow can be found here
A photo of Colonel Mo Hughes can be found here