Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 4:38 PM on Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Area loses trooper job to Crown Point

By Michael Armstrong
Staff Writer

A vacant Alaska State Trooper position at the Anchor Point Post will be transferred to the Crown Point Post near Moose Pass and Seward. Both posts are in E Detachment, the trooper command district that includes the Kenai Peninsula and Girdwood. When the position is filled, both posts will have five troopers and one post sergeant. That does not include Alaska Wildlife Troopers. The Anchor Point post also has a court services officer, Charles Walsworth, who's assigned to the post but generally works out of the Homer Courthouse.

Both posts serve a similar population area, said Lt. Dane Gilmore, E Detachment deputy commander. Gilmore said E Detachment command made the decision based on a review of the workload of the two posts.

"It made it equitable," he said. "It just made business sense with the resources we've got."

Anchor Point troopers serve the lower Kenai Peninsula from Clam Gulch on the Sterling Highway to the end of East End Road, as well as the Kachemak Bay and lower Cook Inlet villages. Crown Point troopers serve the area from Seward north to the Hope Highway on the Seward Highway. The main difference in service needs is high traffic on the Seward Highway, Gilmore said.

According to Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities traffic counters, in January traffic in the Anchor Point Post area is 59 percent of the annual average daily amount. For Crown Point that number is 45.9 percent. In July, for Anchor Point the amount is 178 percent of the daily average while in Crown Point the amount is 247 percent of the daily average.

"It's a huge increase in the summer time for them with all the seasonal traffic," Gilmore said of Crown Point.

In terms of other kinds of demands, calls for service are comparable in both areas.

Gilmore said the bigger challenge is not creating more trooper positions, but recruiting people for any new vacancy created. Elsewhere in E Detachment, there are two vacant positions in Cooper Landing, one in Soldotna and three with the Bureau of Highway Patrol in Soldotna.

"Recruitment is a big issue for us. We need more qualified applicants coming through the door," Gilmore said. "If we had more qualified applicants, the first thing we would do is fill the vacancies we have, and then see what would be appropriate to add the resources."

People interested in a career with the troopers can find out more by visiting its website at alaskastatetroopers.com.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.