Wildlife officers to get new uniforms, but not new duties

Posted: Friday, June 06, 2003

ANCHORAGE - State troopers and fish and wildlife officers soon will be wearing the same uniforms, but that doesn't mean their duties will being combined.

The Murkowski administration has discussed merging the Department of Public Safety's Fish and Wildlife Protection and Alaska State Trooper divisions. But Public Safety Commissioner Bill Tandeske said the uniform change does not mean the agency has reorganized.

Once distinguished by brown uniforms, fish and wildlife troopers soon will wear blue, like Alaska State Troopers. The uniform switch could take six months to complete, said Maj. Jim Cockrell, acting director of the state troopers.

Fish and wildlife officers once were part of the Department of Fish and Game. A reorganization in the 1970s brought them into the Department of Public Safety. Cockrell said the differing uniforms confused people, who think state wildlife agents work for Fish and Game or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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