This photo shows Alaska Department of Public Safety Commissioner Jim Cockrell. (Courtesy photo / Office of Gov. Mike Dunleavy)

This photo shows Alaska Department of Public Safety Commissioner Jim Cockrell. (Courtesy photo / Office of Gov. Mike Dunleavy)

Strengthening Alaska through service: Join the Alaska State Troopers

The law enforcement positions within the Department of Public Safety fill a critical need within our community

  • James Cockrell
  • Friday, September 29, 2023 2:30am
  • Opinion

Our state stands at a crossroads, where our choices today will shape the quality of life all Alaskans enjoy tomorrow. As the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Public Safety, I am reaching out to you to consider a career in public service that will not only enhance your life but also leave a permanent mark on our community’s safety and well-being. I urge you to join the law enforcement ranks of our department as an Alaska State Trooper, Alaska Wildlife Trooper, Deputy Fire Marshal, Court Services Officer, or Village Public Safety Officer.

The law enforcement positions within the Department of Public Safety fill a critical need within our community, and we have a need in each one. Within the Alaska State Troopers alone, we are approaching 60 vacancies. While in the past, countless Alaskans have raised their hand to join this honorable profession, today, many of our recruits come from outside of the state. In my Alaska Law Enforcement Training Academy class 30 years ago, all 30 of my classmates were Alaska residents; today, only a handful of Alaskans are stepping up to serve our state as Troopers.

We are living in an era where the role of law enforcement has evolved beyond the traditional boundaries. The duties of today’s law enforcement officers are as diverse as our state. To address this changing landscape, we need dedicated individuals from all walks of life, with varied perspectives and talents, to stand alongside us as we work to protect our community.

Many of our current Troopers were once teachers, pastors, stay-at-home parents, carpenters, hunting and fishing guides, or served in the military. Your unique background and experiences will contribute to a well-rounded organization that effectively addresses the complexities of modern society. From community engagement to problem-solving, your perspectives will help us navigate the delicate balance between law enforcement and community building.

I am aware of the concerns that many of you may have when considering a career in law enforcement. However, I want to assure you that your Alaska State Troopers are committed to upholding the highest standards of professionalism, ethics, and respect for the people who live in and visit our great state. Becoming a Trooper can contribute to the positive change you wish to see in policing.

In conclusion, please heed this call to serve your community as a law enforcement officer with the Alaska State Troopers. Join us in writing the next chapter of our state’s history and become a part of something greater than yourself by serving with loyalty, integrity, courage, and compassion. Your community needs you, and I wholeheartedly believe that you also need this community.

James Cockrell is the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Public Safety. He is a 30-year veteran of the Alaska State Troopers.

More in Opinion

Promise garden flowers are assembled for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska, on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Opinion: Let’s keep momentum in the fight against Alzheimer’s

It’s time to reauthorize these bills to keep up our momentum in the fight to end Alzheimer’s and all other types of Dementia.

Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press
Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., questions Navy Adm. Lisa Franchetti during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Sept. 14 on Capitol Hill.
Opinion: Music to the ears of America’s adversaries

Russia and China have interest in seeing America’s democracy and standing in the world weakened

Dr. Sarah Spencer. (Photo by Maureen Todd and courtesy of Dr. Sarah Spencer)
Opinion: Alaskans needs better access to addiction treatment. Telehealth can help.

I have witnessed firsthand the struggles patients face in accessing addiction care

Former Gov. Frank Murkowski speaks on a range of subjects during an interview with the Juneau Empire in May 2019. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Need for accounting and legislative oversight of the permanent fund

There is a growing threat to the permanent fund, and it is coming from the trustees themselves

(Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Imagine the cost of health and happiness if set by prescription drug companies

If you didn’t have heartburn before seeing the price, you will soon — and that requires another prescription

Mike Arnold testifies in opposition to the use of calcium chloride by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities on Kenai Peninsula roads during a Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai Peninsula Votes: Civic actions that carried weight

Watching an impressive display of testimony, going to an event, or one post, can help so many people learn about something they were not even aware of

The Kasilof River is seen from the Kasilof River Recreation Area, July 30, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Opinion: Helicopter fishing a detriment to fish and fishers

Proposal would prohibit helicopter transport for anglers on southern peninsula

The cover of the October 2023 edition of Alaska Economic Trends magazine, a product of the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. (Image via department website)
Dunleavy administration’s muzzling of teacher pay report is troubling

Alaska Economic Trends is recognized both in Alaska and nationally as an essential tool for understanding Alaska’s unique economy

Image via
5 tips for creating a culture of caring in our high schools

Our message: No matter what challenges you’re facing, we see you. We support you. And we’re here for you.

The Alaska State Capitol is photographed in Juneau, Alaska. (Clarise Larson/Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Vance’s bill misguided approach to Middle East crisis

In arguing for her legislation, Vance offers a simplistic, one-dimensional understanding of the conflict

A rainbow appears over downtown as residents check out rows of electric vehicles at Juneau’s EV & E-bike Roundup on Sept. 23. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: We should all pay more for the privilege of driving

Alaska has the lowest gas tax in the country

Opinion: Sports saves

ASAA has decided to take a vulnerable subgroup of these youth and reinforce that they are different and unwelcome