Chapter Chat - July-August 2017


Colonel Jim Cockrell, Session #195 has retired from the Alaska State Troopers to accept a position as Security Supervisor with Tesoro at the Kenai, Alaska refinery. Jim started his career with the Alaska State Troopers in 1983 and retired as a Major in 2004. He worked an additional three years under a federal grant and retired again in 2007. He spent six years in private security before his appointment as Colonel of the Alaska State Troopers in June 2013 and retired again in May 2017.  

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The City of Ketchikan has a new Police Chief as of May 2017.  Lt Joe White, Session #254 had served the city as the Acting Chief of Police since January when Chief Alan Bengaard, Session #206 retired. Joe attended the Alaska Law Enforcement Training Academy in 1995 and started his career with the Ketchikan Police Department in 1996. Joe is married to Natalie, and they have five children.

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Colonel Steve Bear, Session #219 has retired from the Alaska State Troopers. Steve started his career in 1990 and rose through the ranks serving in the Alaska Wildlife Troopers side of the agency. Steve and his wife Renee have five children. They will be moving to Washington State as Steve has been appointed the Chief of Law Enforcement with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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Juneau Police Department’s Deputy Chief Edwin Mercer, graduate of Session #259 took over the reins as the new Chief of Police at the end of July. He is a born and raised Alaskan from Sitka and started his law enforcement career in 1992 as a reserve officer for the Sitka Police Department until 1993 when he was offered a full time police officer position.  In 2000, Ed was hired by the Juneau Police Department.  For the next 17 years, he worked his way through the ranks as a Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, and Deputy Chief.

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Alaska State Trooper Captain Tony April is a graduate of Session #226 and he is a member of the Alaska Chapter. Tony was recently elected National Parliamentarian for the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE). Tony was also nominated, selected, and elevated to Illustrious Grand Inspector General aka 33rd and Last Degree of the Masons. Only 3% of Masons are nominated worldwide.


Tony and his comrades in the Masons did their civic duty by helping with Clean-up Day in Anchorage, specifically on their designated “Adopt A Road” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Tony is in the blue shirt on the right. 

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Alaska State Trooper Captain Barry Wilson, graduate of Session #244 and current Southcentral Vice President of the Alaska Chapter was selected to represent Alaska law enforcement at the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, World Winter Games in Austria in March.

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Captain Barry Wilson helped carry the flame of hope on the Final Leg of the Torch Run to the Opening Games of the World Winter Games for Special Olympics in Austria.  He along with 133 other law enforcement officers, many of whom were FBINA graduates, traveled across 2929 miles of Austria through 47 cities to the opening ceremonies. This effort not only showed the LEO commitment, but also the international outreach of FBINA and it graduates in supporting Special Olympics and positive initiatives for law enforcement.

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The Law Enforcement Torch Run starting in Fairbanks. Organizer Alaska State Trooper Captain Barry Wilson is pictured second from the right. Fourteen communities across the State of Alaska all ran simultaneously in an effort to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics.

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Barry is providing much encouragement for the youth participating.

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The Law Enforcement Torch Run in Ketchikan, Alaska. Our members, Chief of Police Joseph White (leaning on the trunk of the car) and Deputy Chief Josh Dossett (somewhere in the upper right) of the Ketchikan Police Department participated. Joe is a graduate of Session #254 and Josh is a graduate of Session #238. Josh serves on the Training Committee. 

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Alaska State Trooper Chad Goeden, Commander of the State Trooper Training Academy, graduate of the Session #266 and current Southeast Vice President of the Alaska Chapter got his entire academy class involved in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. Chad is pictured on the far right.

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Anchorage Police Department Chief Justin Doll, Session #260 on the right runs to the finish line along with Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz. 

Chapter Chat - May-June 2017

Anchorage Police Department Captain Justin Doll will be sworn in as the new Chief of Police in June. Justin is a graduate of the 260th Session of the FBI National Academy. Justin is shown here being congratulated by FBI SAC Marlin Ritzman and FBI NAA, Alaska Chapter President Shirley Coté.

Justin Doll

Police Memorial Day was recognized in Anchorage on May 5, 2017. Members AST Colonel Jim Cockrell and APD Acting Deputy Chief Ken McCoy read the 68 names of the law enforcement officers who paid the ultimate price.

Police Memorial Day

Once again it was a sad year for Alaska to add another name to the monument in Anchorage and in Washington D.C. Sgt. Allen Brandt of the Fairbanks Police Department was shot in the line of duty on October 16, 2016 and died of complications during surgery on October 28, 2017, just four days after addressing the City Council and expressing his appreciation for their support of the police department. Member Brad Johnson, Deputy Chief of the Fairbanks Police Department gave a moving and powerful tribute to Sgt. Brandt’s life and his dedication to his family and his community.

DC Johnson

The Alaska Chapter Board of Directors held their bi-annual membership meeting at the State of Alaska Crime Detection Laboratory on May 3, 2017. Past President Terry Vrabec was sworn in by SAC Marlin Ritzman. The revised constitution and by-laws were approved and ideas were shared about training, fundraising, membership, and social outreach.

Chapter Meeting

Greg Francois, our member drawn to attend the National Conference in Washington D.C. in July was in attendance to express his appreciation and commitment to bring information back to the membership at the December meeting. President Shirley Coté pictured with Greg will also be attending the National Conference.

Greg Francois

Chapter Chat - March-April 2017

Alaska Chapter President Shirley Coté and Secretary/Treasurer Bob Beasley were grateful for the opportunity to attend the Presidents’ and Secretary/Treasurers’ meeting at Quantico March 5-9, 2017. Both found the meetings to be extremely helpful and they appreciated the opportunity to meet so many colleagues.

As did the other chapter representatives, Shirley and Bob took Alaska’s Session 267 attendees to dinner at Vinny’s Italian Restaurant. It was the first time we had the opportunity to meet Deputy Chief Dan Welborn from the Fairbanks Police Department and Lt. Lance Ewers with the Sitka Police Department. We had a great time and it didn’t take us long to form a friendship that will last a long time. In fact, Lance has agreed to join the Fundraising Committee for our Chapter. There is no doubt that Dan, too will be involved.  

Our past president had to resign from the board for personal reasons and we are fortunate to have been able to reach out to our past president, Terry Vrabec to fill that position. We assuredly have on our board of all new officers a historical perspective with Terry’s 16 years as president.

Special Agent David Price will be retiring in May and he will be very missed as our Training Coordinator in the Anchorage Office. In February Dave pulled the selection committee together to make the very important decision of whom from Alaska will attend the 2018 sessions. The process was made up of Special Agent in Charge Marlin Ritzman, Assistant Special Agents in Charge Anthony Jung and Carolyn Perisot, Special Agent David Price, FBI Training and Liaison Specialist Debra Munoz, Lt. David Hanson from the Alaska State Troopers, Lt. Justin Doll from the Anchorage Police Department and Chapter President Shirley Coté. The process was very in-depth and was organized to ensure the most fair and objective way in selecting commanders from Alaska to attend the National Academy. The current attendees in Session #268 are Lt. Matthew Dobson from the Alaska Wildlife Troopers and Lt. Benjamin Langham from the Kenai Police Department.

The new vice presidents, Sean McGee, Barry Wilson, and Chad Goeden of the three state regions – Northern, Southcentral, and Southeast, respectively have been busy with their committee work. The Constitution and Bylaws have been revised for ratification by the membership at the next membership meeting. Training, membership, and fundraising are all active committees to ensure our members receive valuable benefits. Training is focused on the Executive Development Conference, which serves as Alaska’s Retrainer. The dates are December 6-8, 2017 with our annual membership meeting to be held on December 5th from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Our bi-annual membership meeting will be held at 3:00 p.m. on May 3rd at the State of Alaska Crime Detection Laboratory located at 4805 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in Anchorage.


Chapter Chat - Jan-Feb 2017

The Alaska Chapter voted in a whole new Board, with Shirley Cote being the new Chapter President. Exciting, as they hope to build a new strong group. Visiting Magnum PI (AKA Arizona Member Terry Vrabec) visited to help them with the change-over and we had a great Hawaiian themed dinner to celebrate the strength and unity of the law enforcement community. Notice the Law Enforcement American flag in the background, as all attendees received one to show respect for them and their families.

Xmas Party

The annual Alaska Chapter FBINAA Christmas party. Every year we have a different theme. This year it was Hawaiian (in case you couldn’t guess). Year after year it’s a tremendous amount of fun with good food, games, prizes, and most of all camaraderie.

Terry Vrabec

Past President Terry Vrabec receiving a plaque from incoming President Shirley Coté. Terry was recognized for his 16 years of service as the Alaska Chapter President. Terry also spent his first year on the board as Vice President and his last year as Past President. We could not have asked for a more involved leader.

Meet your new board!

The FBINAA Alaska Chapter elected new members this past December.  The new board consists of the following members:

  • Shirley Coté, President
  • Robert Beasley, Secretary/Treasurer
  • Barry Wilson, Vice President of Southcentral Region
  • Chad Goeden, Vice President of Southeast Region
  • Sean McGee, Vice President of Northern Region
  • Terry Vrabec, Past President
New Board