Girdwood trooper post to remain open through June

The Girdwood post of the Alaska State Troopers, originally slated to be closed Jan. 1, will remain open at least through June 30, troopers say.

In a statement released Wednesday, troopers announced that a sergeant, four trooper positions and two highway patrol troopers will remain at the station until the end of the department’s fiscal year. The extension came at the request of the Municipality of Anchorage, said Alaska State Troopers Director Colonel James Cockrell. One of those four troopers transferred to the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, but the position technically remains at the Girdwood post, he said.

“Currently we’re leasing a facility in Girdwood,” Cockrell said. “Our intention was to drop the lease at the first in the year.”

With the original planned closing of the Girdwood post in mind, the department’s budget was not drafted to account for the $40,000-$45,000 it will cost to continue leasing the building from January through June, Cockrell said. The decision to keep the post open was just made last week, and Cockrell said the department is still working to adjust and make sure the cost of leasing the Girdwood building, paying its janitorial staff and utilities, will be covered since it wasn’t planned for.

Once the post does close, troopers will save $80,000-$90,000 annually, Cockrell said. Cutting costs was not the main reason for deciding to shut the post down, though. Cockrell and Captain Andy Greenstreet, commander of the E Detachment that covers the peninsula and Girdwood, said the troopers, who are supposed to be transferred to the Peninsula, are to help with the loss of troopers for the area in the last fiscal year.

“A good portion of (work in Gidrwood) is patrolling the highway… whereas on the Kenai Peninsula we’re responding to more criminal activity,” Cockrell said.

The E Detachment lost five trooper positions since July, said Greenstreet, including an Alaska Bureau of Highway Patrol position, a domestic violence follow-up position, a cold case investigator and a background investigator.

Cockrell said the plan is for four of the seven troopers in Girdwood to be transferred to the Kenai Peninsula following the close of the Girdwood post, three of which will go directly to Soldotna. Greenstreet said he would bring them on into general positions rather than recreate the specific roles that were lost.

“I’ve got an obligation to the entire detachment,” he said, adding that improving trooper response out to Anchor Point will be important. “I’ll be taking a look at that. I’ll obviously be looking at Nikiski. That’s absolutely on my radar.”

Greenstreet said the danger of permanently designating a trooper to be in one community is that it could end up taking away from another. If a trooper were permanently stationed in Nikiski, but Sterling started experiencing a rash of crimes, it wouldn’t be fair to keep that trooper from responding, Greenstreet said.

“With the limited number of troopers that I have, I have to be very fluid in how I designate those troopers,” he said.

Girdwood residents will have the option to vote for increased taxes to maintain police services, Cockrell said. In the meantime, Alaska State Troopers will maintain a presence in that area when it comes to the highway incidents that happen there most often.

“Our intent is to actually have three troopers assigned to the Bureau of Highway Patrol,” Cockrell said.

Currently, Girdwood troopers patrol from mile 55 to mile 112 of the Seward Highway, according to the release. Eventually Anchorage could extend its police services to mile 75 of the Seward Highway, Cockrell said.

The transition of troopers from Girdwood to the Kenai Peninsula would be pretty seamless, Greenstreet said.

“The beauty of the troopers is that a trooper is a trooper,” Greenstreet said. “We train in all aspects of the job and there wouldn’t really be any retraining.”

Cockrell said the Alaska State Troopers are still dealing with the potential elimination of another seven to nine trooper positions in next year’s budget.


Reach Megan Pacer at

More in News

Soldotna High School senior Josiah Burton testifies in opposition to the proposed cut of Kenai Peninsula Borough School District theater technicians while audience members look on during a board of education meeting on Monday, March 6, 2023 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
School board finance group reviews expenditures ahead of upcoming budget cycle

As the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District prepares to grapple with another… Continue reading

Members of the Kenai/Soldotna Fish and Game Advisory Committee raise hands to vote in favor of a proposal during a meeting at Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association in Kenai, Alaska, on Monday, Nov. 20, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Silver salmon, personal use fishing discussed by advisory committee

The group set their recommendations on a variety of proposals to the State Board of Fisheries

Hoses pump water along Patrick Drive to help mitigate flooding near Kalifornsky Beach Road on Friday, July 21, 2023, near Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Borough spent almost $78k responding to flood events during disaster declaration

Most of the funds were spend in the northwest area of Kalifornsky Beach Road

The National Weather Service’s map shows a winter weather advisory, in orange, effective for much of the eastern Kenai Peninsula. (Screenshot)
Heavy snow, blowing winds forecast for Turnagain Pass on Wednesday

Snow accumulations of up to 16 inches are expected

The Kenai Courthouse is seen on Monday, July 3, 2023, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Grand jury adds charges in October killing of Homer woman

The indictment was delivered on Nov. 8

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Anchorage resident arrested in Nikiski after troopers investigate reports of stolen vehicle

Troopers responded to a residential address in Nikiski around 11:30 a.m. after being notified by Sirius XM that a stolen vehicle was there

Santa Claus greets Hudson Reinhardt during Christmas Comes to Kenai festivities at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, Nov. 24, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Getting into the holiday spirit

Christmas arrives in Kenai with fireworks, Santa and a lot of rain

Kinley Ferguson tells Santa Claus what she wants for Christmas during Christmas in the Park festivities on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, at Soldotna Creek Park in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Creating a winter wonderland

Christmas in the Park to bring Santa, sleigh rides, fireworks on Saturday

Flowers bloom at Soldotna City Hall on Wednesday, June 24, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna to repair failed wastewater pipe

The pipe to be repaired discharges treated effluent into the Kenai River

Most Read