Jusi joins police force after 4 months at academy
November 25, 2020
As of Nov. 21, the Haines Police Department is back to full staffing. Officer Max Jusi became the fifth officer on the force after graduating from the Public Safety Training Academy in Sitka on Nov. 13.
Jusi described his four months at the academy as challenging and surprisingly fun.
“It was a lot more fun than I expected in large part because I was with a great group of people,” Jusi said. He said he was kept busy seven days a week with search and rescue exercises, role-playing scenarios, and classes on everything from ethics to constitutional law.
“It was definitely challenging, physically demanding and also academically demanding. At one point we had nine exams in one day,” he said.
Jusi said he started out as part of a 52-person class with students from all over the country. By graduation, he was one of 39. “A lot of people dropped out because of the physical challenges. In the first week it was pretty intense with fight scenarios and being pepper-sprayed. We only lost one person to academics,” he said.
Three days into his new job as a Haines Police officer, Jusi said he’s getting into the swing of things. “The first day consisted mostly of settling in. We attempted to serve a warrant on someone in the community, but unfortunately were unable to locate them. It was still exciting for me, being in the real world,” he said.
Jusi said on his second day, he made a few traffic stops. “That happened sooner than I expected, but it went well.” He credits his training, co-workers and prior experience as a dispatcher with the smooth transition.
“(Making a stop) feels weird, but training just kind of kicks in. I guess I’m kind of used to interacting with people from dispatch. It’s just a different way of approaching people, more personable,” he said.
Jusi applied to be the borough’s fifth officer in March. He said he was motivated to apply because he wanted to take on a more active role in the community.
“Having been here as a dispatcher for so long, I really got a sense of wanting to do more for the community. I never expected to take a job in law enforcement before I started, but it’s definitely something I’ve gotten a stronger desire to do, to do more for the community that I live in,” he said.
Haines has had a vacancy on the force since October 2019 when Chris Brown resigned. Jusi was selected from a pool of two applicants for the position in April.