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

Press Releases

Troopers Respond to Apparent Domestic Violent Deaths in Rural Alaska

July 1, 2020, Anchorage – In less than 10 days, five people were killed in Western Alaska. The first was Lawrence Paul; he was killed in Grayling on June 22, 2020. Two women, Rhoda Adams of Noatak, and Carol Whalen, of McGrath, were killed a day a part later in the week in their respective communities. Early this morning in Alakanuk, two men, Ray Phillip and Bajon Augline, appear to have killed each other. All these deaths appear to be the result of domestic violence.

“These deaths are tragic and a stark indication that the blight of domestic violence occurring across Alaska hasn’t ebbed. The DPS can’t stop the violence alone; we need the public’s help,” said Commissioner Amanda Price, Department of Public Safety. “Stopping the violence will take community involvement. Communities must partner with law enforcement to take proactive efforts to support victims and survivors of domestic violence by holding offenders accountable even before relationships turn physically violent. The DPS will continue to seek even more solutions to help end the violence and welcomes community dialogue so Alaskans can have meaningful participation in the process.”

The Department of Public Safety (DPS) is committed to doing its part by providing prevention programs and funding victim services as well as providing law enforcement services. The Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (CDVSA), which is housed in the DPS, funds 35 such programs across Alaska. Programs include victim services programs, child advocacy centers, mental health services for children and youth who are victims or witnesses to domestic violence, legal services and advocacy, prevention programs and perpetrator rehabilitation programs.

"Alaskans know that our rate of domestic violence is one of the highest in the nation.  This is not acceptable nor is it a distinction we intend to continue," said L. Diane Casto, Executive Director of CDVSA. "The Council, in conjunction with partner agencies, works diligently to provide a myriad of services to victims and to fund programs to prevent domestic and sexual violence. Our focus is to have a continuum of services across Alaska to prevent domestic violence, intervene in violent relationships earlier, support and advocate for victims and to end domestic violence and its impact on victims, families, perpetrators and communities.  All of us must work together to end these senseless deaths, as well as all domestic violence."

Victims, Survivors and family members can find a plethora of resources online at https://dps.alaska.gov/CDVSA/Services/VictimServices. Even if people don’t want to make a police report regarding incidents, they can still get help and are encouraged to reach out.

Available resources include:
 

For immediate response call 911

Alaska 2-1-1 for assistance, referrals, resources

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Call 800-799-7233

Text LOVEIS to 22522

Online chat at www.thehotline.org  

Alaska’s CARELINE at 877-266-4357

National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673)

To report child abuse at 800-478-4444 or online at ReportChildAbuse@alaska.gov

For a more CDVSA information on programs and services go to: https://dps.alaska.gov/CDVSA/Home

 

“The Department of Public Safety offers up our sincere condolences to the families of victims and survivors of domestic violence,” said Commissioner Price. “We stand ready to partner with you and your communities to prevent other families from having to grieve the loss, or navigate the despair of abuse, of a loved one at the hands of their partner.”

Read More

Troopers Increase Patrols for Independence Day Holiday

July 1, 2020, Anchorage – Troopers will have extra patrols on the roadways and waterways to help ensure people safely reach their destinations for the Fourth of July holiday. Alaska State Troopers will be conducting focused patrols looking for poor driver behaviors like aggressive and distracted driving. Meanwhile, Alaska Wildlife Troopers will focus on fishing enforcement patrols with special emphasis on boating safety laws and boating under the influence this weekend in addition to checking whether people are complying with fishing regulations.
 
“We do our part by patrolling Alaska’s highways and educating drivers,” said Capt. April, commander of “B” Detachment in Palmer. “And we want to take a moment to thank the majority of drivers who do their part to keep our highways safe by staying alert and following the law.” Unfortunately, just one motorist taking a chance in a no-passing zone, texting while at the wheel, or driving under the influence of alcohol or mind-altering drugs can create a deadly traffic situation for themselves and others on the road.
 
Remember that traffic fines are doubled in construction zones and safety corridors. Regardless of what your ultimate plans are for the holiday weekend, Troopers encourage you to always practice safe driving behaviors when operating a motor vehicle or watercraft. The first step is by wearing your seat belt, helmet or life jacket when applicable. And as always, Troopers also encourage everyone to Report Every Dangerous Driver Immediately by calling 9-1-1. 
Funding for increased highway patrol efforts come from the National DUI High Visibility Enforcement Campaign with funds issued through the Alaska Highway Safety Office. 
  Read More

Public Safety Academy to Graduate 33 Law Enforcement Officers

June 12, 2020, SITKA — A full house is expected tomorrow afternoon as 33 newly minted law enforcement officers march across the stage to receive their badges. To accommodate social distancing, the large graduating class and their guests, this ALET graduation will be held at the Harrigan Centennial Hall in Sitka. The graduation ceremony, which begins at 1 p.m., will feature a class of eight Alaska State Troopers, two Alaska Wildlife Troopers, and recruits from several city and borough police departments from around the state.
 
“Public safety has been priority number one for my administration,” said Gov. Mike Dunleavy. “I am proud to see a new class of law enforcement officers graduating and deploying to every region of the state. These committed individuals have answered the call of service and sacrifice to protect their fellow Alaskans.”
 
Graduating recruits completed more than 1,000 hours of training over the course of 16 weeks of basic Alaska Law Enforcement Training. Schooling included intensive instruction in law enforcement-related topics, physical fitness, and many scenario-based exercises designed to prepare entry-level police officers and Troopers for successful careers in Alaska law enforcement.
 
“I am very proud not only of this graduating class, but also the law enforcement agencies statewide and the Alaska Law Enforcement Training academy staff.  While they were all here focusing on the extensive training in preparation of their service to Alaska, circumstances they could never have planned for occurred; a global pandemic requiring significant change to our way of life challenged the schedule of their training, and the profession they are entering into has been under great scrutiny nationwide,” said Department of Public Safety Commissioner Amanda Price. “The training these graduates received will be of great value to them and their respective agencies as they selflessly serve the people of Alaska with dignity and fairness.  The law enforcement family of Alaska welcomes them, appreciates them and their families, and thanks them for their commitment and their service.”
 
Tomorrow’s graduation signals the conclusion of Alaska Law Enforcement Training Session #20-01. The ceremony will stream live on the DPS Facebook page.
 
Graduates include:
 
  • Joshua Ballard, Seward Police
  • Noah Belt, Alaska Wildlife Troopers
  • Yuriy Bezzubenko, Hoonah Police
  • Amber Blackmon, Sitka Police
  • Nakeeya Bowman, Alaska State Troopers
  • Kyle Butler, Cordova Police
  • Michael Clauson, Wasilla Police
  • Samuel Cooke, Alaska Wildlife Troopers
  • Tony Del Rosario, Fairbanks Airport Police & Fire
  • Gaven Eaker, Fairbanks Airport Police & Fire
  • Jared Edenshaw, Alaska State Troopers
  • Carter Forney, Alaska State Parks
  • Brian Glenn, Alaska State Troopers
  • Kelepi Hausia, North Slope Borough Police
  • Gram Hood, Kodiak Police
  • Jacob Ianacone, Alaska State Troopers
  • Sean Imhof, Juneau Police
  • Jonathan Jachim, Nome Police
  • Austin Martino, Nome Police
  • Roy Mitchell, Ketchikan Police
  • Kodie Moss, Ketchikan Police
  • Mark Pelia, North Slope Borough Police
  • Jerod Perron, Alaska State Troopers
  • Tyler Reid, Juneau Police
  • Beckett Savage, Juneau Police
  • Travis Schiaffo, Unalaska Police
  • Brandon Spangler, Alaska State Troopers
  • Kristen St. Amand, Alaska State Parks
  • Kellen Stock, Homer Police
  • Benjamin Strachan, Alaska State Troopers
  • Tyler Waltemyer, Alaska State Troopers
  • Tiffany Walters, Palmer Police
  • Parker White, Sitka Police

Following graduation, the 10 Trooper recruits will continue their training at the academy for an additional two weeks. The “Trooper Basic” training includes tailored and advanced training in fish and wildlife investigations, boating safety, survival, commercial fisheries enforcement, search and rescue, and critical stress management. Recruits also participate in additional scenario-based trainings.
 
Upon completion of Trooper Basic, recruits will move toward their first duty assignments in either Fairbanks, Soldotna, or the Mat-Su Valley, and begin a 12-week Field Training and Evaluation Program. All Trooper recruits are expected to develop to the point of being able to perform all law enforcement functions independently. If successful, the Trooper recruits will be promoted to the rank of Trooper upon completion of their probationary period, generally 12 months from the start of the academy.

PDF Version of Release
 
Read More