Alaska State Troopers
The Division of Alaska State Troopers (AST) is the state police agency of Alaska. It is a division of the Alaska Department of Public Safety (DPS). The Alaska State Troopers are a full-service law enforcement agency and handle both traffic and criminal law enforcement. The Alaska State Troopers are also involved in apprehending fugitives as part of the Alaska Fugitive Task Force, an inter-agency collaborative of Alaska police departments that cooperates with police agencies throughout the United States and less commonly with Interpol in apprehending wanted men and women.
Unlike most state police agencies, AST is unique in that it performs duties unlike other similar agencies. Because Alaska has no counties and hence, no county police or sheriffs in its constitution, the troopers also handle civil papers, mental health custody orders and serve to police mostly all of rural Alaska. Alaska does have boroughs, which have some similarities but with lesser powers of lower-48 US counties, but only the North Slope Borough police truly functions similarly to a lower-48 county police agency and thus relieves AST of a need to be the primary police agency in this particular region.
The DPS is headed by a Commissioner appointed by the Governor. This person is actually a civilian administrator, though historically a career law enforcement officer and administrator. The Commissioner, if a sworn officer upon being appointed as such, may be appointed a "Special Alaska State Trooper" to maintain police powers. The Alaska State Troopers (AST) and Alaska Wildlife Troopers (AWT) are headed by ranking officers with the rank of Colonel.
Read more about Alaska State Troopers: History, Duties, Mission, Rank Structure, The Alaska Department of Public Safety Training Academy, Village Public Safety Officer Program, Fallen Officers, Museum, In Popular Culture
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