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.