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The Hoonah Police Department will soon be at full force for the first time since the Aug. 28 fatal shootings of HPD Sgt. Anthony Wallace and Officer Matthew Tokuoka.
Officer David John Lindstrom graduated from the Department of Public Safety Academy in Sitka on Nov. 11th. Lindstrom joined the HPD in February 2009 and left for the Academy at the beginning of August.
The 14-week DPS academy is a paramilitary, residential training program, accredited through the Alaska Police Standards Council.
Billy Mills, currently a Craig Police Department officer, will be on staff with the HPD in December. The Valdez Police Department currently has one officer assisting in Hoonah.
"We are almost at full staff now," Hoonah Police Chief John Millan said. "We have hired full staff and will have one more officer arriving shortly."
Lindstrom graduated from Hoonah High School in 2007 and was a well-known athlete in Southeast. Sports programs listed his name as "DJ" and announcers used those initials when he represented the small native community at state wrestling tournaments.
"He sets a good example for the local school kids," Millan said. "He is someone the town has looked up to for a long time. We are fortunate to have a young man of his caliber wearing a badge in Hoonah. He is a superb asset to the community."
Since that August day when Wallace and Tokuoka died, law enforcement agencies have supported the Hoonah community with open arms, Millan said.
"It has been a long road coming back but the town has been very supportive of the police department which is good," Millan said. "The support of the whole state has made a difference. So many volunteers and Gov. (Sean) Parnell's office and his staff have been amazing. The state as a whole, no matter what politics or whatever, they all closed in and helped us get back on our feet."
Haines, Homer, Juneau, Ketchikan, Seward, Sitka, Valdez, and Wrangell contributed police officers. The Alaska State Troopers had staff from dispatches statewide helping. The United States Coast Guard kept the Hoonah harbor area secure during the incident and Alaska National Guard aided in funeral preparations for the fallen officers.
Millan said that offers were received from multiple out-of-state law enforcement agencies and officers but procedural and legal issues made their man power assets problematic.
Wallace and Tokuoka's names will be added to the State Memorial in Anchorage and the National Monument in Washington D.C. in May. They are listed on the Officer Down Memorial Page website at www.odmp.org.
John Nick Marvin has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two weapons misconduct charges in connection with the deaths of Wallace and Tokuoka.
"It has been an emotional time," Millan said. "But the community has been slowly moving forward.
Contact reporter Klas Stolpe at 523-2263 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.