Trooper post remains open, 'internal matter'
November 7, 2019
Alaska state wildlife trooper Wallace Kirksey left his Haines post for another station in October, leaving the post to an uncertain future.
State trooper public information officer Ken Marsh said this week that the department intends to fill the position, but because of a private personnel policy, the timeline is unclear.
Haines residents will not learn of Kirksey’s replacement until a new wildlife trooper arrives.
“Basically, the hiring or bidding process is an internal matter,” Marsh wrote in an email. “When a wildlife trooper arrives in Haines to begin work, the matter will then be public.”
Kirksey transferred to Haines from a trooper patrol position in Matanuska-Susitna Valley in May, when he replaced departing trooper Trent Chwialkowski. Kirksey left the valley after five months on the job, and never responded to the CVN’s request for comment.
In 2017, the highway trooper post in Haines was eliminated due to budget cuts and increased crime rates in Bethel.
On Wednesday, state troopers announced a record-high recruitment cycle, with over 1,000 applicants for 2020.
“Continuing to fill ranks to increase number of troopers statewide will help us to bolster our focus of increasing public safety in rural Alaska, which the Dunleavy administration has committed to doing,” said Amanda Price, Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety.
When asked if this could mean reinstating a “blue shirt” patrol trooper to Haines, Marsh said “we can’t draw a correlation between the press release and what may or may not happen with regard to Haines.”