Trooper 75th Anniversary
AST > PIO > Press Releases > Home

Press Releases

Retired Trooper Lieutenant Lonny Piscoya to Lead MMIP Efforts

September 27, 2022 (Anchorage, AK)— Retired Alaska State Trooper Lieutenant Lonny Piscoya has returned to the Alaska Department of Public Safety to lead the department's Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) Initiative. Investigator Piscoya will lead the department's outreach efforts for the MMIP initiative and will assist the Alaska Bureau of Investigation with both active and cold case murder and missing person cases involving Alaska Natives. Investigator Piscoya will take over the role of MMIP Investigator from retired Alaska State Trooper Anne Sears who decided to return to retirement. 


"I am happy to see that Investigator Piscoya has returned to state service to lead the State of Alaska's efforts on outreach and investigations surrounding Alaska's Indigenous persons," said Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy. "Public safety is my administration's number one priority, and I know that Investigator Piscoya will continue to lead our MMIP initiative in a positive direction." 


Investigator Lonny Piscoya is a lifelong Alaskan who was born in Nome, where he grew up. He joined the ranks of the Alaska State Troopers in 1993; during his storied career, he patrolled in Fairbanks, Galena, Interior Alaska, Southeast Alaska, and Ketchikan. He worked as a post supervisor, AST Tactical Dive Team member, and detachment deputy commander over his 25-year law enforcement career. Piscoya retired from state service in 2018. 


"I personally worked with Lonny over his career with the department and know from first-hand experience that he will bring the same tenacity and persistence that he was known for as a Trooper to this critical role," said Alaska Department of Public Safety Commissioner James Cockrell. "With the framework that retired MMIP Investigator Anne Sears helped put in place, I know we will continue to make meaningful progress on this critical responsibility." 


Improving MMIP investigations is one of the key branches of Governor Dunleavy's People First initiative. Investigator Piscoya will also serve as the Commissioner of Public Safety's designee on the Governor's Council on Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons. 


"I am excited to return to the department to lead this worthy initiative for DPS," said MMIP Investigator Lonny Piscoya. "I have seen the devastation that high rates of violent crimes have on Alaska's villages and small communities. I am committed to doing my part to help reverse those trends with my fellow Alaska State Troopers." 


Investigator Piscoya's first day was September 19, 2022. This position was funded through the US Department of Justice's Project Safe Neighborhoods. 


Read More

DPS Announces Leadership Changes

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

Read More

State Fire Marshal Richard Boothby Announces Retirement from State

August 10, 2022 (ANCHORAGE) –  Alaska State Fire Marshal Richard Boothby announced his retirement from the Alaska Department of Public Safety, effective August 12, 2022. Boothby has served as the Alaska State Fire Marshal since his appointment in January 2019 after a storied career with fire departments across Southcentral Alaska. Since 2019 Fire Marshal Boothby has served as the state’s top firefighter overseeing the review of commercial building plans, the investigation of significant fires across the state, and the training and certification of thousands of firefighters across Alaska. 
“Richard has served Alaskans with honor and distinction as the State’s top fire official and has made significant operational improvements in the Division of Fire and Life Safety that will be felt for decades after his well-earned retirement,” said Alaska Department of Public Safety Commissioner James Cockrell. “Fire Marshal Boothby has helped rebuild the State Fire Marshal’s Office after multiple years of reductions and has carried out his division’s mission of preventing the loss of life and property from fire and explosion. Richard will certainly be missed not only within the department but by the dozens of fire chiefs that serve with him from across the state.”  
Fire Marshal Boothby has a long and distinguished career in fire protection and served as the Fire Chief for the Willow/Caswell Fire Department, a position he held from 2017 until he was appointed Fire Marshal in 2019. Fire Marshal Boothby began his fire career in 1983 when he joined the Summit South Hill Fire Department in Washington State. After relocating to Alaska, he joined the Wasilla Fire Department (now the Central Mat-Su Fire Department) in 1987, DPS in 2005 as a plan reviewer in the State Fire Marshal’s Office, and in late 2006 transferred back to the Central Mat-Su Fire Department as a Fire Code Official/Battalion Chief, remaining in that role until 2017.
“It has been the honor of a lifetime serving Alaskans as the State Fire Marshal since 2019. The Alaska State Fire Marshal’s Office is made up of some of the most dedicated fire professionals in the state, and leading them has been an honor and a privilege,” said Alaska State Fire Marshal Richard Boothby. “I am particularly proud of the strides we made during my tenure to significantly reduce the number of fatal fires across the state, decrease the wait time in the Plan Review Bureau, and add Deputy Fire Marshal positions in Fairbanks and Bethel to better serve Alaskans.”
Assistant Fire Marshal Lloyd Nakano will serve as the Acting State Fire Marshal until a permanent replacement is appointed. 
  Read More