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Courage and Conviction: An Alaska State Trooper's Journey Through a Life of Principled Law Enforcement

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Ann and I moved to Alaska from the Truckee Lake Tahoe area in the High Sierra Nevada Mountains. I worked for the Forest service as a foreman and fire boss in the summer and Ann and I traveled all over the western United States racing sled dogs in the winter. We made some money racing sled dogs but it s a good thing Ann was a registered nurse to keep our bills paid. For sev Ann and I moved to Alaska from the Truckee Lake Tahoe area in the High Sierra Nevada Mountains. I worked for the Forest service as a foreman and fire boss in the summer and Ann and I traveled all over the western United States racing sled dogs in the winter. We made some money racing sled dogs but it s a good thing Ann was a registered nurse to keep our bills paid. For several years our Irish setter sled dogs made the head-lines as the top winning team in the western United States. When we moved to Alaska it was to race sled dogs. We were able to compete, but the good teams were really fast. In September 1966, I went to work for the City of Anchorage in Alaska as a police officer. After graduating from the Police Academy, I trained on patrol with a senior officer, worked in the City Jail and on the City Prison Farm staffed by inmates who grew their own food, and then six months in the city traffic division monitoring traffic and investigating accidents. The balance of time I was in a patrol vehicle working assigned areas around the city, and because I am 6 4 tall I also worked on foot patrol around 4th Avenue and C Street, Anchorage s red light district. Two years gave me a solid foundation of what I call Law Enforcement 101. In 1968 I entered the Alaska State Troopers Academy. When I started, there were only 126 Troopers in the entire state. There were no sheriffs and very few city police departments. Two weeks before the end of my Trooper academy training I was given early release to the Anchorage Detachment, and then, just before my class graduated, I was offered the one man highway post in Glennallen. This area was huge. If you draw a line north to south down the center of Washington s Cascade Mountain Range, this post was the size of the whole eastern side of Washington State. My area had three towns, Glennallen 1,500 people, Valdez 1,000 people and Copper Center - 500 people, four villages, Nabesna, Chistochina, Gulkana and McCarthy, and smaller settlements scattered throughout. At the time I was the only law enforcement in the entire region, with the exception of one city police officer in Valdez. The State Trooper I replaced had been very busy with few days off, and it got even more demanding during the two years my family and I were there. I had no office staff, so my wife Ann was my only radio contact while I was responding to calls or out on patrol. We truly learned on the job, lived the life and walked the walk, while experiencing the great Alaska lifestyle. When I left the Glennallen post they replaced me with four State Troopers as the Alaska pipe line was getting ready to start construction. I learned to fly, and over the years my family and I flew all over Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Idaho. With Glennallen at the very doorstep of the Wrangle Mountains, my mountain flying skills increased. This book will put you right in the pilot s seat with me discovering what an airplane can do and what an airplane will not do. After Glennallen, we moved to Naknek, a bush post on Bristol Bay in the Alaska Peninsula. The road system on the Alaska Peninsula in those days was only 12 miles long, from King Salmon to Naknek, and the airport at King Salmon was the largest industrial airport in the area. Bristol Bay was the largest sockeye salmon fishery in the world with four large rivers feeding it and Naknek was right in the center with nine canneries. The first strike year, before I started commercial fishing the fishermen went on strike for more money per pound, and the big canneries and the cannery workers were mad at the fishermen. Anger on both sides elevated as more fish escaped up the rivers to their spawning grounds, while boats were sitting on the beach with only the bars doing a big business. Many of these fishermen would be pulling in $10,000 to $30,000 a day, and they knew those fish would not be coming back. When a few of the fishermen started fishing it just fanned the fire. I found that if I could make the rounds of the bars in Naknek and King salmon there was a big difference in the amount of fights and brawls I just answered all the calls I could, and every time I went by a bar I stopped long enough to get in and out. The bar tenders really appreciated my efforts in this area and they all started working with me, instead of against me. They knew that I had no back up. It was just me against the bar. That started them cutting fighters off earlier and now we made giant progress as the community decided they wanted law and order. My professional life was fun and exciting, but most important to me was to maintain high principles. It was even more important in my personal life. I swore oaths to uphold the law as an Anchorage Police Officer, Alaska State Trooper, Seldovia Chief of Police and the Sheriff of Asotin County, Washington. I also took an oath when I married Ann to love, cherish and protect her to my last breath, to never part from her and to raise our children to the best of my ability, so help me God!"


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Ann and I moved to Alaska from the Truckee Lake Tahoe area in the High Sierra Nevada Mountains. I worked for the Forest service as a foreman and fire boss in the summer and Ann and I traveled all over the western United States racing sled dogs in the winter. We made some money racing sled dogs but it s a good thing Ann was a registered nurse to keep our bills paid. For sev Ann and I moved to Alaska from the Truckee Lake Tahoe area in the High Sierra Nevada Mountains. I worked for the Forest service as a foreman and fire boss in the summer and Ann and I traveled all over the western United States racing sled dogs in the winter. We made some money racing sled dogs but it s a good thing Ann was a registered nurse to keep our bills paid. For several years our Irish setter sled dogs made the head-lines as the top winning team in the western United States. When we moved to Alaska it was to race sled dogs. We were able to compete, but the good teams were really fast. In September 1966, I went to work for the City of Anchorage in Alaska as a police officer. After graduating from the Police Academy, I trained on patrol with a senior officer, worked in the City Jail and on the City Prison Farm staffed by inmates who grew their own food, and then six months in the city traffic division monitoring traffic and investigating accidents. The balance of time I was in a patrol vehicle working assigned areas around the city, and because I am 6 4 tall I also worked on foot patrol around 4th Avenue and C Street, Anchorage s red light district. Two years gave me a solid foundation of what I call Law Enforcement 101. In 1968 I entered the Alaska State Troopers Academy. When I started, there were only 126 Troopers in the entire state. There were no sheriffs and very few city police departments. Two weeks before the end of my Trooper academy training I was given early release to the Anchorage Detachment, and then, just before my class graduated, I was offered the one man highway post in Glennallen. This area was huge. If you draw a line north to south down the center of Washington s Cascade Mountain Range, this post was the size of the whole eastern side of Washington State. My area had three towns, Glennallen 1,500 people, Valdez 1,000 people and Copper Center - 500 people, four villages, Nabesna, Chistochina, Gulkana and McCarthy, and smaller settlements scattered throughout. At the time I was the only law enforcement in the entire region, with the exception of one city police officer in Valdez. The State Trooper I replaced had been very busy with few days off, and it got even more demanding during the two years my family and I were there. I had no office staff, so my wife Ann was my only radio contact while I was responding to calls or out on patrol. We truly learned on the job, lived the life and walked the walk, while experiencing the great Alaska lifestyle. When I left the Glennallen post they replaced me with four State Troopers as the Alaska pipe line was getting ready to start construction. I learned to fly, and over the years my family and I flew all over Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Idaho. With Glennallen at the very doorstep of the Wrangle Mountains, my mountain flying skills increased. This book will put you right in the pilot s seat with me discovering what an airplane can do and what an airplane will not do. After Glennallen, we moved to Naknek, a bush post on Bristol Bay in the Alaska Peninsula. The road system on the Alaska Peninsula in those days was only 12 miles long, from King Salmon to Naknek, and the airport at King Salmon was the largest industrial airport in the area. Bristol Bay was the largest sockeye salmon fishery in the world with four large rivers feeding it and Naknek was right in the center with nine canneries. The first strike year, before I started commercial fishing the fishermen went on strike for more money per pound, and the big canneries and the cannery workers were mad at the fishermen. Anger on both sides elevated as more fish escaped up the rivers to their spawning grounds, while boats were sitting on the beach with only the bars doing a big business. Many of these fishermen would be pulling in $10,000 to $30,000 a day, and they knew those fish would not be coming back. When a few of the fishermen started fishing it just fanned the fire. I found that if I could make the rounds of the bars in Naknek and King salmon there was a big difference in the amount of fights and brawls I just answered all the calls I could, and every time I went by a bar I stopped long enough to get in and out. The bar tenders really appreciated my efforts in this area and they all started working with me, instead of against me. They knew that I had no back up. It was just me against the bar. That started them cutting fighters off earlier and now we made giant progress as the community decided they wanted law and order. My professional life was fun and exciting, but most important to me was to maintain high principles. It was even more important in my personal life. I swore oaths to uphold the law as an Anchorage Police Officer, Alaska State Trooper, Seldovia Chief of Police and the Sheriff of Asotin County, Washington. I also took an oath when I married Ann to love, cherish and protect her to my last breath, to never part from her and to raise our children to the best of my ability, so help me God!"

7 review for Courage and Conviction: An Alaska State Trooper's Journey Through a Life of Principled Law Enforcement

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