The Village Public Safety Officer (VPSO) program began in 1979 as a concept to address rural public safety
. The VPSO program provides public safety services in rural Alaska by increasing response time to emergencies and provide an ongoing public safety presence to rural and remote communities in Alaska.
A certified VPSO is trained in fire protection, emergency medical assistance, law enforcement, community policing, crime prevention and search and rescue. The presence of a VPSO in a community can have a positive impact on a community.
The VPSO is often the first responder when their community needs help; hence their motto: "First Responders - Last Frontier".