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Interior Alaska Law Enforcement Team Up for Crime Suppression Operation

August 23, 2023 (FAIRBANKS, AK) – Last week, multiple law enforcement agencies from around Alaska conducted a joint-effort to disrupt the drug trade and associated criminal activity in the Fairbanks and North Pole area. The three-day effort, called Operation Fall Surprise, took place last week, August 16 - 18. More than a dozen local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies were involved in the effort.

Law enforcement seized approximately 270 grams of illegal narcotics with an estimated street value of $32,500. Investigators seized 139.5 grams of fentanyl pills or powder which is 69,750 potentially fatal doses.
“Your Alaska State Troopers are committed to working with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to hold those that traffic dangerous drugs accountable for their actions,” stated Major David Hanson, Deputy Director of the Alaska State Troopers. “We will continue to conduct operations like these across the state to make Alaska a safer state to live, work, visit and raise a family.”

A total of 68 arrests were made, including 30 warrant arrests, seven felony arrests and 18 misdemeanor arrests. Nine firearms were seized, including one which was stolen, as well as $9,367 in cash. More than 10 search warrants were executed, and three vehicles were impounded. Officers also conducted 173 traffic stops and contacted over 300 people in connection with this effort.

“The results of this operation really highlight the positive impact that law enforcement has on a community, especially with the coordinated and targeted effort from all these law enforcement agencies,” said Fairbanks Police Chief Ron Dupee. “FPD is committed to supporting any effort that makes our community safer and helps get illegal drugs off the streets of Fairbanks.”

Operation Fall Surprise was a joint operation consisting of more than 40 sworn law enforcement officers from a dozen local, state and federal agencies including the Alaska State Troopers, Fairbanks Police Department, North Pole Police Department, UAF Police Department, Fairbanks Airport Police Department, Anchorage Police Department, North Slope Borough Police Department, Alaska Department of Corrections, the US Marshals, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Homeland Security Investigation.  
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DPS and APD Release Missing Indigenous Persons Report

August 22, 2023 (ANCHORAGE, AK) – The Alaska Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Anchorage Police Department (APD) have released a first-of-its-kind Missing Indigenous Persons Report. The report provides reliable data and case transparency related to all missing persons in Alaska that are Alaska Native, American Indian, or their race is unknown within the Alaska Public Safety Information Network (APSIN) and were reported by either DPS or APD. DPS and APD personnel reviewed the records associated with each investigation to categorize the case as suspicious, not suspicious, or environmental.

In December 2021, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy announced the People First Initiative which focused on five policy areas that impact Alaskans including Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP). Representatives from DPS and APD participated in the working group that provided recommendations to the Governor related to MMIP, including, finding, “Ways to improve investigations, including data/information collection and sharing.” This working group inspired the creation of this new report.

"The Alaska Department of Public Safety is committed to conducting thorough investigations into all missing persons and murder investigations that occur in our area of responsibility, including those involving Alaska Natives and American Indians. We have heard the concerns of community leaders about a lack of communication related to MMIP investigations across the state, and this is a positive step towards increased transparency," stated Alaska Department of Public Safety Commissioner James Cockrell. "In addition to the Alaska State Troopers four dedicated MMIP investigators working across the state, this new report will provide Alaskans with additional clarity on the number of missing persons that are Alaska Natives, American Indians, or whose race we are not sure of. DPS will continue to lead MMIP efforts across the State of Alaska with our local law enforcement partners." 

In addition to this new report, DPS updated the publicly available Alaska Missing Persons Clearinghouse in early 2023 to include the race and sex of each missing person listed in APSIN. This gives interested Alaskans the ability to immediately see how many Alaskans are missing statewide with these additional data points included. The dataset includes the name, investigating agency, case number, and date last contacted for every missing person in the state. Persons are listed as missing until they are located by law enforcement. 

“Anchorage is a home to many Indigenous people and is also a hub to rural Alaska Native communities. A common misconception is you have to wait 24 hours to report a person missing, this is not true,” said Anchorage Police Chief Michael Kerle. “You can report a person missing in Anchorage by calling 9-1-1 as soon as you discover the person has gone missing. The Anchorage Police Department takes hundreds of missing persons reports each year and every one of those are taken by an officer, investigated, and follow-up conducted by the Homicide Unit. It’s also important to notify law-enforcement if a missing person is located by family so they can be cleared from missing person status.” 

DPS has also updated our missing persons clearinghouse operations with the goal of inputting all missing persons into the US Department of Justice’s National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUS) within 30 days of the person being reported missing. NamUs is a national centralized repository and resource center for missing, unidentified, and unclaimed person cases across the United States that includes data points beyond what is listed on Alaska’s publicly available website.
DPS and APD intend to refresh this report on a quarterly basis and add additional local law enforcement agencies that are interested in participating. Questions related to specific missing persons cases should be directed to the investigating law enforcement agency.
The report is available online at:
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Troopers Increase Patrols to Crack Down on Impaired Drivers

August 16, 2023, (STATEWIDE) – Troopers will have increased high-visibility patrols on Alaska’s highways starting this week and continuing through the Labor Day holiday to prevent fatal and serious-injury crashes. While Troopers will focus on DUI enforcement for both alcohol and drugs, they will also watch for, aggressive driving, distracted driving, speeding and people not wearing their seatbelts.
“As the Labor Day holiday approaches, I want to remind everyone of the dangers of impaired driving. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not only illegal, but also irresponsible and deadly,” said Colonel Maurice Hughes, Director of the Division of Alaska State Troopers. “If you plan to drink or use drugs, make sure you have a designated driver, a taxi, or a ride-sharing service to get you home safely. Troopers will be conducting increased patrols throughout the holiday weekend to enforce the law and protect the public. Enjoy the holiday responsibly and help us keep our roads safe.”
The 2023 impaired driving national enforcement mobilization "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" goes into effect across the country from August 17 to September 5, 2023. One of the deadliest and most often committed - yet preventable - of crimes (impaired driving), has become a serious safety epidemic in our country.
Additionally, motorists witnessing others driving dangerously are encouraged to make a REDDI report (Report Every Dangerous Driver Immediately) by calling 911. To learn more about REDDI, visit
Remember that traffic fines are doubled in construction zones and safety corridors. Regardless of what your ultimate plans are for the holiday weekend, Troopers encourage you to practice safe driving behaviors when operating a motor vehicle or watercraft.
Funding for this increased highway patrol effort come from the National DUI High Visibility Enforcement Campaign with funds issued through the Alaska Highway Safety Office. 

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