In Alaska the Alaska Police Standards Council (APSC) exists to set the standards and determine how an individual may become a police officer in the state. Surprisingly, Alaska is one of the highest paying states as far as police work goes. Perhaps this is because it is hard to get well-qualified applicants to move up there. Whatever the reason, they do have strict requirements and expectations of law enforcement officers. According to the Anchorage Police Department Website, applicants must contain the following qualities: unquestionable character and integrity, free of cultural and ethnic bias, strong ethical code in both personal and professional life, desire to diligently protect and serve the community through courage, compassion and respect, and personal conduct above reproach. As you can see from this list, they take police work extremely seriously and hire accordingly.
Becoming a police officer in Alaska can take hard work and motivation, just as with any law enforcement jobs across the country. But it can also be a very rewarding and engaging career. There are many law enforcement jobs available in Alaska from cops to park rangers to state troopers. There are jobs in very rural areas and ones in more populated areas of the state as well. Some officers who live and work in Alaska have lived their whole lives in the state, others move up there for a change, and to make a life for themselves, to start out fresh in a new place. Whatever your reason for checking into police work in Alaska, it may be a good fit for you depending on your qualifications as a cop and as a person.
Alaska State Requirements
Many of the minimal requirements for applicants are the same as other states in the country. An applicant must possess a high school degree or GED, but Alaska goes further by stating that an associate’s degree or higher is preferred. Applicants must be a minimum of 21, a US citizen and have a valid driver’s license. A clean criminal background is a must, criminal charges prior to turning 21 will be assessed on a case by case basis, and no marijuana use within the past 3 years.
If a candidate is able to meet the minimum requirements they can then begin the application process. As with most states, this is quite a lengthy and very involved process. Throughout the application period there are many physical and written test as well as psychological and even possibly a polygraph test. The steps outlined on the home page of this sight can give you an idea of what to expect during the process. Once that is completed, and if you are accepted, you would then attend academy training. During the academy training you will be paid according to the training pay scale. Once you graduate and become a full-fledged police officer you would move to a regular salary.
Many people interested in law enforcement work in Alaska go the route of becoming a state trooper. State troopers in Alaska handle things from drug enforcement, criminal investigations to wild life matters. This has very similar requirements to that of becoming a police officer, and is much needed as well in the state of Alaska.
Those wishing to move to Alaska who are already certified police officers need to have at least one year of police work under their belt. They also need to have trained in a state which required a minimum of 400 hours of training (which most states do require). The starting pay for police officers who transfer from another state is $31.35 an hour in Anchorage.
Average Police Officer Salary in Alaska
In Alaska the average police officer salary is on the higher end of the country. A full-time officer in anchorage makes between 56 and 80 thousand dollars a year. The average patrol officer in the state of Alaska makes 67,480 a year. The average detectives and criminal investigators salary in Alaska is above 96,000 per year (according to lawenforcementEDU.net). Most departments also offer competitive benefits to their employees including medical, dental, vision, and audio. As well as life insurance and disability.
Law Enforcement Schooling Programs in Alaska
University of Alaska (Fairbanks) Community and Technical College offers a police training academy program and University credits for completing the program. It is a program that is recognized by police departments in Alaska and can give you a leg up on the competition when applying for a police job within the state of Alaska. This program is one that costs money, rather than being paid for training after getting hired on by the police department. However, if you are looking to go into law enforcement, it may be a good place to start for those waiting to turn the required age of 21.