Gov. Frank Murkowski on Thursday announced the appointment of Col. Julia Grimes as the new director of the Alaska State Troopers.
Grimes, a 20-year veteran of the troopers, is the first woman appointed to the position. She will be based in Anchorage.
"Col. Grimes brings more than two decades of experience as an Alaska State Trooper working in many assignments and roles," Murkowski said in a prepared statement. "I have been impressed by her strong leadership principles, as well as the energy and vision she brings to her new assignment."
Grimes began her career with the troopers in 1983 and has served in the Department of Public Safety's Statewide Drug Enforcement Unit, the Criminal Investigation Bureau and the Judicial Services Unit. She also spent six years as a rural enforcement trooper and pilot in the Dillingham and King Salmon areas.
Public Safety Commissioner Bill Tandeske said Grimes' accomplishments within the division are "a testimony to her tenacity, to her energy, to her ability to see things through.
"In a time when we anticipate rethinking everything we do and why we do it, it takes individuals such as this to get there," he said.
Grimes said she would work to provide troopers with the support and resources they need to maintain morale.
"We are going to focus back again on our core mission - the core missions of public safety in rural Alaska as well as in the urban areas," she said. "The Alaska State Troopers, we're a full-service law enforcement agency. We have historically tried to provide resources and support to all parts of the state, those areas of the state that cannot bring public safety to their communities, so we are going to focus back on making sure we support those areas and give them what they need."
Murkowski said the troopers will begin by stepping up enforcement of bootlegging in dry villages, where alcohol sales and consumption are against the law.
"We've had some conversations about some of the priorities within the troopers," Murkowski said. "One is in the area of enforcement, particularly in the areas of rural Alaska."
The Division of Alaska State Troopers employs 447 people, 252 serving as state troopers.
Timothy Inklebarger can be reached at email@example.com.