Village Public Safety Officer Program
The Village Public Safety Officer Program began in the late 1970's as a means of providing rural Alaskan communities with needed public safety services at the local level. The program was created to reduce the loss of life due to fires, drowning, lost person, and the lack of immediate emergency medical assistance in rural communities.
The Village Public Safety Officer Program was designed to train and employ individuals residing in the village as first responders to public safety emergencies such as search and rescue, fire protection, emergency medical assistance, crime prevention and basic law enforcement. The presence of these officers has had a significant impact on improving the quality of life in the participating villages. As a result, the Village Public Safety Officers (VPSO) are generally the first to respond to many calls for help from community members; hence their motto:
"First Responders - Last Frontier"