Jenna Kunze
Michael Fullerton takes an oath before receiving his police badge on July 1, his first day as the newest Haines Borough Police Department officer.

The Haines Borough Police Department returned to full strength when Mayor Jan Hill swore in Michael Fullerton on Monday.

Fullerton was selected from among four applicants-two local – for the position vacated in May by officer Brayton Long.

Fullerton, 53, served a stint as an Alaska State Trooper in Fairbanks, but moved back to Haines to be closer to his family. He’s previously worked as a seasonal assistant to with Haines’ wildlife trooper, as a customer service representative at Alaska Seaplanes, as chair of the borough’s public safety commission, and as a volunteer firefighter since his move to Haines in 2016.

“One of the things that brought me to this position is my commitment to this community, so I’m really happy to be digging in and getting started,” he said.

Though Fullerton clocked in for the first time at the police station on Monday, he’ll finish his training, led by officer Chris Brown, over the next few months.

Fullerton characterized his policing style as proactive rather than reactive – “understanding where problems might occur and getting ahead of them.” He listed illegal drugs as an area of concern.

Jenna Kunze

Before relocating to Haines from California with his wife, borough clerk Alekka Fullerton, and their three children, Fullerton worked as a financial adviser, as an executive recruiter for a headhunting company, owned his own car-dent removal business, and was a stay-at-home dad.

“I’ve had a varied history that I think will suit the community very well,” Fullerton said. “I’ve got a lot of experience of dealing one-on-one with people in stressful situations, and that’s oftentimes what a police officer is doing.”

The department’s full staffing could be temporary. Officer Chris Brown has announced he’ll be leaving the department this year, according to police chief Heath Scott, though a date is not set. The chief said he intends to fill the position.