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Troopers Conducting High Visibility Enforcement Effort

May 16, 2022 (Anchorage, AK) – Alaska State Troopers and Alaska Wildlife Troopers will be conducting additional traffic patrols through June 6th as part of the Click It or Ticket campaign. Nationwide it is estimated that about 15,000 lives were saved in 2017 by motorists wearing their seatbelts.
 
While Troopers will be focused on identifying drivers and passengers not utilizing seatbelts, they will also be on the lookout for dangerous drivers and drivers operating their vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
 
“With the start of summer many Alaskans and visitors will be travelling the roads to go to their favorite fishing spot or to take in some amazing scenery, it only takes about a second to put on your seatbelt before you leave,” said Colonel Bryan Barlow, Director of the Alaska State Troopers. “Wearing a seatbelt can save your life. It’s not just the law, it’s the right and safe thing to do.”
 
Motorists who see someone driving dangerously are encouraged to call in a REDDI – Report Every Dangerous Driver Immediately – by calling 911. To learn more about REDDI, visit http://www.dot.alaska.gov/stwdplng/hwysafety/REDDI.shtml  
 
Funding for increased patrol efforts comes from grants distributed by the Alaska Highway Safety Office.
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Troopers Announce Change in Sawyer Cipolla Search Strategy

May 14, 2022 (Kodiak, AK)— On Saturday, May 7, 2022 at 12:12 pm, the Alaska State Troopers were alerted that 7-year-old Sawyer Cipolla had gone missing from his home on Forest Drive in Kodiak. Law enforcement agencies and first responders from across Kodiak Island immediately responded to the area and started an intense multi-day search for the missing child.

 

Over the course of the past week, more than 2,500 volunteer searchers, 14 search and rescue dog teams from across the State, and search and rescue professionals have searched just under 10,000 acres of Kodiak Island for Sawyer. In addition to the extensive ground search, the US Coast Guard, Alaska Army National Guard, and private aircraft have flown dozens of missions above the coastline, waterways, and terrain in search of Sawyer. Volunteer drone pilots have used thermal imaging to search across the Kodiak area. The US Navy SEALs provided 60 of their service members to conduct searches along the coast, sweep freshwater ponds, and traverse steep and difficult terrain throughout this weeklong search. Despite relentless searching, covering a great deal of the search area at least twice, there have been no clues or signs of Sawyer located in the probable area and there are no additional leads for search teams to follow up on.

 

Beginning Saturday, May 14, 2022, the Alaska State Troopers and Alaska Wildlife Troopers will be shifting their search strategy for Sawyer from a widespread active search to a limited reactive search. Law enforcement and professional search teams will limit their search activities to areas where new evidence or information suggests that Sawyer may be located.

“Over the last week the Kodiak community has rallied together to search for young Sawyer, over two thousand residents of Kodiak showed the state that when faced with adversity, Alaskans join together to work the problem and find solutions. Despite one of the most thorough ground searches in Alaska history, as of today we have exhausted all of our leads and searched far beyond the search perimeter in an effort to bring closure to the Cipolla family and the Kodiak community,” stated Colonel Bryan Barlow, Director of the Alaska State Troopers. “While the search will now be taking a different shape and strategy, know that locating Sawyer remains a top priority for the State Troopers and everyone involved in this search and investigation.”
 

In addition to the widespread search and rescue operations that have occurred over the last week, there has also been a thorough law enforcement investigation into Sawyer’s disappearance. Specially trained law enforcement officers from the Alaska State Troopers, Alaska Bureau of Investigation, FBI, Anchorage Police Department, Kodiak Police Department, US Coast Guard Investigative Service, US Coast Guard Police, and Sand Point Police Department have been reviewing all of the facts surrounding Sawyer’s disappearance. This team has conducted dozens of interviews, searched inside numerous residences in the area, reviewed security camera footage, and followed up on every tip that was made to law enforcement. The FBI-led Joint Child Abduction Response Team also responded to assist with this investigation. After a thorough multi-day investigation into all of the known information, there is currently no evidence to suggest that there is a criminal element to Sawyer’s disappearance.  
 

While the active search and rescue has shifted to a different strategy, the Alaska State Troopers and Alaska Wildlife Troopers ask that all Kodiak residents remain vigilant. Any information that has not already been reported to law enforcement, can be reported by phone to (907) 486-4121. If you would like to report information anonymously, you can submit a tip through the AKtips smartphone app or online at https://dps.alaska.gov/ast/tips.


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May is Building Safety Month

May 2, 2022 (Anchorage, AK) – Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy proclaimed May as Building Safety Month in Alaska. This is the 42nd annual Building Safety Month, a worldwide campaign presented by the International Code Council, its members, and partners to promote building safety. This year’s campaign, “Safety for All: Building Codes in Action,” raises awareness about the importance of building codes in ensuring safety in the spaces in which we live, work, and learn. 

“The Alaska Department of Public Safety is committed to ensuring public safety in Alaska and preventing the loss of life and property from fire and explosion. One of our primary methods for ensuring that Alaska’s commercial structures are safe is through common sense building safety codes,” said Fire Marshal Richard Boothby, the Director of the Alaska Division of Fire and Life Safety. “It’s everyone’s responsibility to create a safely built environment. We encourage anyone with questions about how to build or renovate fire safe structures to get ahold of us.” 

Homes and buildings that are built in compliance with building safety codes and the officials who enforce the codes are essential to helping communities become affordable, resilient, including energy and water efficient. Building Safety Month provides homeowners, government officials, and the public with the necessary information and resources to prepare as well as protect our built environment. 

This year’s campaign themes are Week One, May 1-8, Planning for a Safe & Sustainable Tomorrow; Week Two, May 9-15, Exploring Careers in Building Safety; Week Three, May 16-22, Understanding Disaster Mitigation; May 23-31, Creating a Safe & Abundant Water Supply. 

Governor Mike Dunleavy has also declared May as Building Safety Month in Alaska. You can find a copy of the proclamation at: https://gov.alaska.gov/newsroom/2022/05/01/building-safety-month-4/  

Learn more about Building Safety Month at www.buildingsafetymonth.org or join the conversation on social media at  www.facebook.com/AlaskaStateFireMarshalsOffice.  
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