Full class signs up for this year's Trooper Citizen Academy

Jan 24, 2018

The latest Alaska State Trooper Citizen Academy on the Kenai Peninsula is under way. Lieutenant Dane Gilmore of the Soldotna trooper post says the 12-week program is designed to help citizens learn about the role of troopers in the community.

"The idea is to create community awareness of the equipment and resources and limitations of the AST and the criminal justice system overall," he said.

He says the academy is important partially to dispel some misconceptions people have about the troopers.

"I think that there's a lot of misunderstandings and misinformation that's out there. I think that people are able to be informed and have a venue where they can can learn and ask questions, I think that's beneficial to everybody," he said.

And about those misconceptions, Gilmore said, "A big one is regarding staffing and personnel resources and the limitations that we really have. People have frustrations of 'why don't the troopers do this or why don't they do that or why isn't there more of this type of enforcement.

"And they really start to understand the limitations we have with personnel, and I think that helps puts it in context a little bit better for them and perhaps might encourage them to find a qualified applicant or two for us," he said.

Gilmore said that most nights there will be three topics covered.

"Perhaps search and rescue, the role of judicial service officers for the court, we have police use of force, we have the Alaska Wildlife Troopers, we have a guest presenter from the FBI that kind of highlights the role that their agency plays in Alaska," he said. That's just some topics I can think of off-hand."

Gilmore says the Kenai Peninsula Trooper Citizen Academy is unique in the state in that it welcomes attendees as young as 16. The oldest he's seen was 82.