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Law Enforcement Careers in Alaska

The Alaska Bureau of Highway Patrol (ABHP) oversees the Alaska State Troopers and State Trooper jobs in Alaska. There are five detachments within the Alaska State Troopers Division located in Ketchikan, Palmer, Anchorage, Fairbanks and Soldotna. Within the Alaska State Trooper Division are the Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Enforcement and the Bureau of Investigation.

Although the majority of officers through the ABHP are Alaska State Troopers, there are members of the team who are officers within local police departments and personnel from the DOT Commercial Vehicles Enforcement Division. ABHP traffic teams work out of Fairbanks, Mat-Su West, Soldotna, and Girdwood.

The Alaska Department of Public Safety provides recruitment services for State Troopers jobs in Alaska and the Alaska Wildlife Troopers. The Department of Public Safety assigns the Alaska State Troopers to one of the five detachments of through the Alaska Bureau of Investigation or the Alaska Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Enforcement.

All candidates for employment with the Alaska State Troopers must provide proof of: residency (birth certificate or naturalization certificate); a high school diploma or GED; all post-secondary degrees or education; a 10-year employment history; and a 10-year residential history.

Alaska State Troopers

The Alaska State Troopers, which consist of about 240 commissioned officers and about 190 civilian personnel, have a primary focus on impaired driving enforcement and conducting traffic law enforcement throughout the state, which often experiences extreme weather conditions, including hundreds of inches of snowfall and sub-zero temperatures. They are also responsible for investigating fatal injury collisions.

Alaska Bureau of Investigation

The Alaska Bureau of Investigation (ABI) investigates major crimes throughout the state of Alaska, including illegal drug distribution and bootlegging. The ABI coordinates and conducts criminal investigations within the Alaska State Troopers jurisdiction, including such major crimes as homicides, sexual assaults, forgery, fraud, missing persons, and computer and Internet crimes. The ABI is broken down into individualized units with expert personnel:

  • Child Abuse Investigation Unit
  • Cold Case Investigation Unit
  • Financial Crimes Unit
  • Major Crimes Unit
  • Missing Persons Clearinghouse
  • Property Crimes Unit
  • Statewide Drug Enforcement Unit
  • Technical Crimes Unit

Alaska Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Enforcement

The Alaska Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Enforcement (ABADE) coordinates all law enforcement efforts to reduce the availability of controlled substances and alcohol throughout the state of Alaska. They are tasked with seizing alcohol and controlled substances that are illegally distributed throughout Alaska and providing training and investigative support to criminal justice agencies.

 

Municipal Police Departments in Alaska

Anchorage

The Anchorage, Alaska, Police Department is the largest department in Alaska, serving about 227,000 residents and patrolling about 159 square miles. There are a number of specialized units and police officer jobs in Anchorage and within the Anchorage Police Department:

  • Bomb Team
  • Canine Unit
  • Crisis Intervention Team
  • Homicide Response Team
  • Hostage Negotiations Team
  • School Resource Officers
  • Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Unit
  • Traffic and Crime Prevention Unit

All candidates for police officer jobs in Anchorage must meet minimum employment qualifications, which include passing a reading and comprehension test, a physical ability test, a polygraph exam, a psychological assessment, and a thorough background check to qualify for employment.

Fairbanks

The Fairbanks Police Department has 50 personnel members, which includes 47 sworn Police Officers and three civilian. This Alaska Police Department has an annual budget of $6.2 million. The Fairbanks Police Department’s sister department, the Fairbanks Emergency Communications Center, has 16 dispatchers and a manager/department head. The specialized units/roles of the Fairbanks Police Department include:

  • Bicycle/Foot Patrol
  • Drug Investigator
  • K9 Handler
  • School Resource Officer
  • Tactical Police Team
  • Traffic Enforcement Unit

All candidates for police officer jobs in Fairbanks must be at least 21 years old and must possess a high school diploma or GED (additional college-level courses in criminal justice are preferred). Further, all applicants for employment must be able to obtain a Basic APSC certificate within 18 months of completion of the Police Academy, and all applicants must be able to meet minimum physical fitness requirements and pass a written examination, polygraph examination, and psychological examination.

Juneau

The Juneau Police Department serves a population of about 31,000 residents. The Police Officers of Juneau patrol an area of 3,081 square miles and work through two divisions: Administrative Support Services and Operations. Within the two divisions are five units:

  • Community Service
  • Dispatch
  • Investigations
  • Patrol
  • Records

The Juneau Police Department also maintains a number of specialized teams, including a SWAT Team, a Bomb Disposal Team, and a Hostage Negotiation Team.

All candidates for Police Officer jobs in Juneau must be at least 18 years old at the time of appointment and possess a high school diploma or GED. Requirements for Police Officer jobs in Juneau also include passing a written exam and a physical ability test.

Sitka

The Sitka Police Department includes 33 employees, a community jail facility, and a 24-hour dispatch and records center. The jurisdiction covers more than 4,700 miles and about 1,300 miles of coastline. The Operations Division includes the following units:

  • Emergency Response Vessel Operators
  • Investigations
  • Investigative Dive Team
  • Patrol
  • SEACAD Drug Unit

All candidates for Police Officer jobs in Sitka must pass a written test, a physical fitness test, an oral interview, a polygraph test, a psychological evaluation, and a background check.

Borough Police Departments in Alaska

The state of Alaska is divided into 18 boroughs (not counties), with the largest boroughs being:

Matanuska-Susitna Borough

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough is a massive borough in Alaska that encompasses 25,000 square miles. This borough is overseen by the City of Wasilla Police Department and the City of Palmer Police Department.

Fairbanks North Star Borough

The Fairbanks North Star Borough covers 7,361 miles and serves nearly 100,000 residents. Within the borough are the cities of Fairbanks and North Pole. As such, the Fairbanks North Star Borough is served by the police departments of both Fairbanks and North Pole.

Municipality of Anchorage

In 1975, the city of Anchorage merged with the Greater Anchorage Area Borough, thereby forming the Municipality of Anchorage. The Anchorage Police Department serves the Municipality and its 100 square miles of land.

Alaska Law Enforcement Salaries

The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition, reported that the median Alaska law enforcement salaries in 2010 were as follows:

  • Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers: $67,480
  • Detectives and Criminal Investigators: $96,450
  • Supervisors of Police and Detectives: $86,840

Salaries among Detectives and Criminal Investigators in Alaska

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Anchorage AK
80
97430

Police Officer and Sheriff Salary in Alaska

Interestingly, Alaska is one of just two states in the United States which does not have a sheriff’s office, as Alaska actually has no counties. The average Alaska police officer salary varies from city to city:

Municipality of Anchorage

  • Patrol Officer: Minimum starting salary of $56,576 up to $80,496 depending on qualifications

City of Fairbanks

  • Police Officer, entry-level, with probationary year: $49,712 to $57,782
  • Police Officer, after first year of probation: $60,798 to $75,982
  • Police Officer, modified entry: $67,038 to $75,982

City & Borough of Juneau

  • Police Officer, depending on experience level: $58,510 to $62,691
  • Police Chief, depending on experience level: $106,618 to $125,542

Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officer Salaries in Alaska

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Anchorage AK
510
68860
Fairbanks AK
140
66460
Southeast Alaska nonmetropolitan area
160
63500
Railbelt / Southwest Alaska nonmetropolitan area
350
67430

State Trooper Salary in Alaska

According to the Department of Public Safety, Division of Alaska State Troopers, the state trooper salary in Alaska is based on two different modules:  Recruit and Lateral. The difference between them is that state trooper laterals have at least one year of qualified law enforcement experience.

State Trooper Recruit

  • Starting salary: $54,420
  • Starting salary with a 4-year college degree: $56,460

State Trooper Lateral

  • Starting salary: $63,048
  • Starting salary with a 4-year college degree: $65,412

Salaries for Police Supervisors and Detectives in Alaska

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Anchorage AK
130
94000
Fairbanks AK
50
83540
Southeast Alaska nonmetropolitan area
50
81660
Railbelt / Southwest Alaska nonmetropolitan area
110
71880

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