Alaska State Troopers began advertising a Haines state trooper vacancy May 8, meaning Haines should see a second trooper by late summer or early fall.

Haines wildlife trooper Ken VanSpronsen has worked the traditionally two-man post solo since he arrived in June. VanSpronsen said the arrival of a “blue shirt” will allow him to do his prescribed job as a “brown shirt” more effectively and will result in better service for residents living outside borough police jurisdiction.

Department of Public Safety Deputy Commissioner Terry Vrabec said he met with other public safety officials in recent weeks to discuss putting the position out to bid. Troopers are currently dealing with a statewide manpower shortage, so Haines is not the only community waiting to have a vacancy filled, Vrabec said.

A new batch of troopers has recently made its way through the academy and field training processes, opening the door for more veteran troopers to move out of their positions and into a slot like Haines, which demands experience, Vrabec said.

Vrabec said he doesn’t anticipate interest being an issue in filling the blue shirt position in Haines. VanSpronsen said he had already casually talked to a few troopers out West and from Fairbanks who might be interested in the job.

VanSpronsen said the position will likely be filled by August, if not sooner. Troopers are given 90 days to get their affairs in order before moving to a new post, but not everyone takes that much time, he said.

The sooner, the better, Vrabec said. “If someone accepts a bid, we’ll take them as soon as we can,” he said.

Administrative assistant Jessica Monkelien said, as of May 10, she had received one application for the trooper position, and Haines was the applicant’s second choice.

Troopers are usually awarded a position based on seniority, Monkelien said.

The bid closes May 24.