Alaska State Troopers see vacancies among staff

Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 2:38 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Vacancy rates remain high among the Alaska State Troopers. Sgt. Bryce Weight of the troopers recruitment unit said they’re offering a high incentive to combat the problem.

“We had a little downturn last year but in the last month or so we’ve really seen an uptick in applications,” Weight said. “We started offering a $20,000 bonus for new hires. It seems to really have increased our applications.”

The troopers are still able to respond to calls, conduct law enforcement operations and be proactive in certain cases, but not at the level they would like to be.

“We want them to go out there and stop crime from happening,” Weight said. “We obviously have a huge issue with domestic violence and sexual assault and other issues here in Alaska. We want to do something about that, we need the people hired so we can do that. We need to train new troopers and put them out in the field so they can make a difference.”

According to Weight, the troopers have about 365 positions staffed and are still looking to fill 60 more trooper positions across the state, especially in rural communities.

The troopers have had interest from all around the world and across the nation, specifically the Pacific Northwest.

“Filling our vacancies is extremely important. We need people to do public safety. Public safety does not just happen by itself,” Weight said. “Without the people behind the badge we don’t do as good of a job. We have posts throughout the state that need to be filled, we have positions that need to be filled.”

With police officers, firefighters and other first responders in several lower 48 cities refusing to comply with COVID-19 vaccine mandates, Gov. Mike Dunleavy posted on Facebook recently inviting people “targeted and even fired for refusing to either get vaccinated or disclose if they have been” to apply to work in Alaska.

Across the country, members of law enforcement are being targeted & even fired for refusing to either get vaccinated or...

Posted by Governor Mike Dunleavy on Thursday, October 21, 2021

But the Alaska State Troopers say they are not running any targeted advertising addressing COVID-19 or the vaccine mandates occurring across the nation at the local, state, and federal level.

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