The Alaska State Troopers have a big job, covering a tremendous territory and managing crimes similar to those that occur all across the United States. The mission of the Division of Alaska State Troopers is to preserve the peace, enforce the law, prevent and detect crime, and protect life and property. This however, is rarely a simple proposition, which viewers of Alaska State Troopers quickly discover.
Managing day-to-day crime sounds pretty familiar in comparison to the rest of the country, however, add wild country, difficult terrain and crime that is unique to Alaska and you have a law enforcement team like no other. The Alaska State Troopers number approximately 240 commissioned and 190 civilian personnel. The Troopers’ major components are five Detachments, a Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Enforcement and a Bureau of Investigation (founded in 1971 as Criminal Investigation Bureau). The detachments are headquartered in Ketchikan, Palmer, Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Soldotna. Alaska terrain is rugged, with polar climate, wild seas and rivers and populations that are sprinkled across a state that is one-fifth of the continental United States. Getting the bad guys isn’t always that easy and there is plenty of crime to manage.
According to the most recent crime report published in 2010 report on by Uniform Crime Reporting, the Department of Public Safety the crime statistics for the state of Alaska were as follows:
|TOTAL||VIOLENT CRIMES||PROPERTYCRIMES||MURDER||FORCIBLE RAPE|
|ROBBERY||AGGRAVATED ASSAULT||BURGLARY||LARCENY THEFT||MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT|
Murder is not a common crime in Alaska, but 32 murders were recorded in 2010. This represents 0.7 percent of the violent crimes and 0.1 percent of the total crime index offenses. The number of murders increased 52.4% between 2009 and 2010. More murders took place in August and November than any other month in 2010.
One of the most common crimes in Alaska is aggravated assault with a total of 3,370 aggravated assaults 2010, representing 74.5 % of the violent crimes and 13.7 percent of the total crime index offenses. The number of aggravated assaults increased 0.4 percent between 2009 and 2010. More people were assaulted in July than any other month in 2010 the fewest assaults occurred in February. Seventy-nine percent of those arrested for aggravated assault were male. Strong-arm tactics, the use of personal weapons such as hands, fists, and feet, were used in committing 36.3 % of the aggravated assaults. The use of firearms accounted for 16.4% of the aggravated assault offenses, a knife or other cutting instrument 23.2 % and blunt objects or other dangerous weapons 24.1 %.
Alaska has a high incidence of forcible rapes and sexual assaults. A total of 528 rapes were reported in 2010, 56 of which were attempted rapes. The total represents 11.7% of the violent crimes and 2.1% of the total crime index offenses. There were 5% more reported rapes in 2010 than in 2009. The greatest number of rapes, including attempts, occurred in May and June while the fewest number occurred in October.
Alaska has a higher crime rate than most of the United States and managing the perpetrators across the vast landscape is no small job. Watch the season premiere and see for yourself with arrests in remote villages; helicopter rescues on frigid, 22 degree mountaintops; and dangerous suspect chase-downs in south central Alaska.