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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions about the VPSO program.
Village Public Safety Officer is a dedicated public safety professional who provides community policing, fire prevention education and fire protection, public safety education to the community, law enforcement and crime prevention, emergency medical services, and search and rescue coordination in rural Alaskan communities. A VPSO often serves in communities with little or no other public safety services. In communities served, a VPSO is generally the first responder on calls for service and assistance in their communities.
A VPSO is not a state employee, but is employed by the regional Native or Alaskan organization which administers the program which supports the community. For a list of VPSO program employers, go here.
Depending upon experience, starting salary ranges from $65,890 to $81,237. The VPSO salary schedule includes regular pay increases up to an annual income of $154,440 not including overtime or bonuses. VPSO benefits such as paid leave, holidays, healthcare and retirement vary by employer. Interested applicants should discuss the benefits with potential employers.
A VPSO basic training is provided by the Department of Publice Safety at the DPS training academy in Sitka, Alaska. The DPS training academy is a vigorous paramilitary style and demanding training program designed to provide VPSO with valuable skills to preform their job. Training includes: daily physical fitness, physical means of arrest, community policing, police procedures, emergency trauma technician training, Alaska criminal and procedural law, domestic violence and sexual assault prevention and response procedures, search and rescue coordination and response, and rural fire protection specialist training. Additional regional and annual continuing education is available during a VPSO's career. 

18.65.682. Village public safety officer certification.

  1. The department shall issue a village public safety officer certificate to an individual who
    1. has satisfactorily completed 12 months as a full-time paid village public safety officer without a break in service longer than 90 consecutive days or nonconsecutive breaks in service totaling 120 or more days;
    2. meets the standards in AS 18.65.672;
    3. has successfully completed
      1. a basic training program that meets the requirements under AS 18.65.676; and
      2. a background information check under AS 18.65.674(a); and
    4. attests to the law enforcement code of ethics.

Go to VPSO Qualifications to learn more.

Persons interested in becoming a Village Public Safety Officer should contact the employing organizations, here.