The Anatomy of Crime in Alaska

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:

24,624 4,522 20,102 32 528
592 3,370 3,083 15,412 1,607


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 %.

Forcible Rape

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.

The new season of Alaska State Troopers kicks off this Sunday with a two-hour premiere Alaska State Troopers: Extreme Justice at 8P followed by Alaska State Troopers: Knife Fight at 10P.


  1. Gigi
    October 15, 2012, 9:51 am

    My boyfriend and I love watching Alaskan State Troopers (he is a Texas deputy and I am former military) and seeing both the dedication and sense of humor the troopers manage to display under challenging conditions. What we have only recently wondered though is why the hoods of trooper vehicles are painted black? We can make some obvious assumptions but researching gives no definitive and official answer. Thank you.
    God Bless and Be Safe.

  2. Cheryl
    May 30, 2013, 2:30 am

    My husband and I both enjoy this show, and have them all recorded so we don’t miss any. I don’t know why it is such a surprise to everyone (Especially Alaska) that the crime rate is so high. While trying to entice people to relocate and live in Alaska, the obvious result of offering money, free maternity medical care, no state taxes, yearly resident bonuses, etc, etc,…would not, probably, attract the attention of say,……A brain surgeon!! The influx of new arrivals would be people who want the free offerings. I don’t know if Alaska had a target market in mind, I rather doubt it. It is very sad because it is a beautiful natural resource that is getting used and abused by the worlds freeloaders. Of course, remember that is just my own personal opinion. Alaska is a very rich state, why couldn’t they have offered new arrivals an educational grant, that had to be a process of participation to its conclusion, in order to qualify for the free money? There are so many possibilities that could have and should have been researched and implemented. After all the years that have passed, Alaska should have offered education and/or training to their native residents and had a wonderful new population of the best of the best of educated residents who appreciate the chance given them to be part of developing a new natural wonder. Shame on Alaska for neglecting their resources and their native resident population, which was and will always be, a gift…….The responsibility of the lives of others. I would not admit to anyone, if I were a law making part of that government. In relation to the natural resources……..It was said by a wildlife warden on the air that they do not have a wildlife reserve in place for injured or misplaced wild animal life, to later be returned to the wild. The troopers simply shoot them! Why? Believe me, there is no answer good enough. Then there is the abundance of fire arms enjoyed by everyone, and I do appreciate the need. But, along with all the shot guns and fire power, why do the troopers prefer to kill wildlife that have wondered into civilization, confused and vulnerable? Can’t they afford tranquilizer guns? They are just as effective as the shot gun and as the superior life form, we, would have taken a more intelligent action, preserving the natural wildlife. Oh, I forgot, Alaska has no rehabilitation reserves for their animals. You should probably back up your talk of preserving the wildlife with some REAL action toward that end. The frequency we see from troopers, in the intentional killing of your wildlife, is not only wasteful, it is disgusting. Your common comment after the gunshot is,….”The meat will be donated to charity so it won’t go to waste.” That is a pretty sad alternative for what was otherwise, Alaska s natural, God given, riches. I hope Alaska has a better future than we have seen in its past!! God Bless You.