Chapter Chat - March through April 2018

President Shirley Coté

President Shirley Coté

A Message from the President

My name is Shirley Coté (Session #164) and it is my pleasure to start the second year of a two-year term as the President of the Alaska Chapter. I announced the results of our election in the last edition of Chapter Chat, and I am committed to, and looking forward to working hard again this year with our very involved Executive Board. We meet once a month on the third Friday for about an hour to ensure we are all on track with the work that needs to be done from our committees. Vice President for Southcentral Region, Barry Wilson (Session #244) chairs the Training Committee; Vice President for Southeast Chad Goeden (Session #266) and Vice President Sean McGee (Session #202) co-chair the Constitution and Bylaws Committee; Chad chairs the Membership Committee; Sean chairs the Social Outreach Committee; and per our Bylaws I serve as a member on all committees. Secretary/Treasurer Andrew Merrill (Session #257) has already hit the ground running and is promoting the need for past members to pay their 2018 dues. We are a small chapter with a potential of about 150 members. We ended the year with about half that number, but through the efforts of Chad's Membership Committee, and Andrew who serves on the committee, we expect to increase that number. Chapter dues are $15.00.

Last year Fairbanks P.D. Deputy Chief Dan Welborn (Session #267) chaired the Fundraising Committee and he and I were hugely successful in obtaining donated prizes and funds in Fairbanks and Anchorage, respectively, in an effort to sell raffle tickets to support our training. In addition to Dan and I, members Lance Jamison-Ewers (Session #267), Greg Russell (Session #180), Chad Goeden, Barry Wilson, Maurice Hughes (Session #261), Sean McGee (Session #202), Mike Holman (Session #251), Jennifer Shockley (Session #263), Ed Mercer (Session #259), Tony April (Session #226), Bob Beasley (Session #194), Skip Coile (Session #163), Ronda Wallace (Session #250), and Dave Ross (Session #256) did a tremendous job in selling raffle tickets. We have an impressive commitment from our members to ensure our chapter continues to thrive and be beneficial to the members.

Our next membership meeting will be held in Fairbanks on May 7, 2018 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and all members plan to attend, to include our Past President, Terry Vrabec (Session #186) who now lives in Arizona. Terry has been very active with our board work. Once again this year, we will be selecting a member to attend the National Conference, which is being held in Quebec City. Our Training Committee Chair and Vice President Barry Wilson and I also plan to attend. We are looking forward to attending the training sessions and hope to contribute good information to the Training Committee upon our return. We are also looking forward to networking with our fellow National Academy graduates and members of the FBI NAA. 


Marlin Ritzman Special Agent in Charge

Marlin Ritzman
Special Agent in Charge

In November 2017 I was contacted by Jennifer Watson, Member Services Manager for the FBI NAA. Jennifer requested feedback from the Alaska Chapter that could be presented to the National Board of Directors in consideration of Mr. Ritzman's application for membership. The members of the Alaska Chapter voted unanimously that Mr. Ritzman met the criteria and he was eventually approved by the National Board. We are proud to have Mr. Ritzman as a member as he has been deeply involved in the Alaska Chapter since his arrival as the Special Agent in Charge of FBI's Anchorage Division since March 10, 2016. Mr. Ritzman most recently served as Section Chief of Transnational Organized Crime-Western Hemisphere, Criminal Investigative Division. Mr. Ritzman entered on duty with the FBI in 1990. Following graduation from the FBI Academy, he was assigned to the Kansas City Division where he investigated organized crime and drug matters. 

In 1997 Mr. Ritzman transferred to the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) where he served as an Assault Team Leader until 2004. During Mr. Ritzman's tenure with HRT he completed multiple critical TDY assignments around the world to include: Afghanistan, Kosovo, Iraq, and Yemen. 
In 2004 he transferred to the Jefferson City RA, Kansas City Division, where he worked a variety of violations with emphasis on violent crime and gang matters. In 2006 Mr. Ritzman was appointed Assistant Legal Attaché in Islamabad Pakistan where he worked significant counterterrorism and liaison matters, he served there until 2007. 

In November 2009, Mr. Ritzman was promoted to Supervisory Special Agent and was transferred to Headquarters City, Kansas City Division where he supervised the Violent Crime Squad including, a Fugitive Task Force, and Child Exploitation Task Force. In August 2013 Mr. Ritzman was promoted to Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Kansas City Division where he managed all Criminal programs and the Administrative Branch. In July 2015 Mr. Ritzman was appointed as the Section Chief of Transnational Organized Crime- Western Hemisphere, Criminal Investigative Division at FBI Headquarters, where he was responsible for leading and overseeing programs involving Transnational Organized Crimes in the Western Hemisphere.

Mr. Ritzman is a certified SWAT Agent, and a Firearms and Police instructor. Mr. Ritzman is the recipient of the FBI's Shield of Bravery. Mr. Ritzman is a native of Nebraska and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Nebraska in 1985. He served in the United States Army as an Infantry Officer for 5 years prior to joining the FBI. Mr. Ritzman is married to Juliette Ritzman, who also works for the FBI's Anchorage Division. Their two sons Austin and Garrett are serving as Infantry Officers in the United States Army.

Director Michael Holman 

Director Michael Holman 

On January 31, 2018, Michael Holman (Session #251) retired from the Unalaska Department of Public Safety where he served since 1995. He rose through the ranks from patrol officer to patrol sergeant to deputy police chief and finally, Director. Prior to being hired in Unalaska, Mike he served in the Army as an air cavalry scout in the 82nd Airborne Division, and worked for the Alaska Department of Fish & Game while attending the University of Alaska, Anchorage.

Director Holman attended the Alaska Law Enforcement Training Session #16 in Sitka, Alaska, and in 2012 he the FBI National Academy.  He holds an Advanced Police Certificate through the Alaska Police Standards Council; is a certified Police Instructor in multiple disciplines; and currently holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Management and a Master of Public Administration degree through Ashford University.

Director Holman is an active member of the Alaska Association of Chiefs of Police.  He is involved with several AACOP committees that include the legislative committee, the bylaws and policy committee, and marijuana ad-hoc committee.  He has served as a committee chair, as a member of the board of directors, and in the fall of 2015 he was appointed to fill the vice president seat.  He is also an active member of the Aleutian Islands chapter of the Alaska Peace Officers Association, the Unalaska Fish & Game Advisory Committee, the Aleutian/Pribilof Islands Local Emergency Preparedness Committee, and is a vice president of the Ballyhoo Lions Club. 

In addition to being an active member of the AACOP, Director Holman is an active member of the FBI National Academy Associates, Alaska Chapter. He currently serves on the Selection Committee for the Youth Leadership Program for the Alaska. His daughter, Taylor was an attendee of the 17th session YLP in June 2015, prior to Director Holman's commitment to serve on the committee. Through Taylor's experience Director Holman clearly understands the value of the program in our young Alaskan attendees' lives. 

Mike and his family will remain in the state and will be moving from Unalaska to Palmer.


Captain Anthony April

Captain Anthony April

Captain Anthony April (Session #226) from the Alaska State Troopers is very active in his community of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, aka "The Valley". Captain April is featured in a new book by authors Matthew Horace and Ron Harris entitled, "The Black and the Blue: A cop reveals the crimes and racism in America's law enforcement and the search for change." In the section dedicated to Captain April they talk about his upbringing in Miami and his rise to the rank of captain with the Alaska State Troopers.

Chapter Chat - November through December 2017

“Freezin for a Reason” Alaska Special Olympics Polar Plunge

FBINAA Alaska Chapter representing- Alaska State Troopers- Capt. Barry Wilson (not pictured), Session #244, Capt. Andrew Merrill, Session #257 (representing in the green NA PT shorts), Lt. Derek DeGraaf, Session #266 and Lt. Paul Fussey Session #269 (both in Black NA PT shorts), accompanied by State Fire Marshal Lloyd Nakano. “Freezin for a Reason” Alaska Special Olympics Polar Plunge fundraiser (this law enforcement partnership with Special Olympics raises more than $200,000 every year for Special Olympic athletes. 

Swearing In

On December 5, 2017, during the bi-annual membership meeting, Special Agent in Charge of the Anchorage Field Office of the FBI swore in the newly elected board members. Chad Goeden, Session #266 (left) ran for his seat again as the Vice President of the Southeast Region, Andrew Merrill Session #257 (middle) ran for Secretary/Treasurer after Bob Beasley, Session #194 decided not to run, and Barry Wilson, Session #244 (right) ran for his seat again as the Vice President of the Southcentral Region. Shirley A. Coté, President and Sean McGee, Vice President of the Northern Region have one year left in their terms. Terry Vrabec remains the Past President. 

Bob and Shirley

Bob Beasley, Session #194 was presented with a plaque of appreciation by President Shirley Coté, Session #164 for the past year as the Secretary/Treasurer. 


On December 7, 2017 Training Specialist Lacy Wolff and Lt. Melvin Allick from the Texas Department of Public Safety presented Executive S.H.I.E.L.D. – Strength and Honor in Everyday Leadership Decisions. We had altogether eight excellent presenters at the annual Executive Development Conference held at the Dimond Center Hotel December 6-8, 2017. We had 90 supervisors, commanders, and chiefs registered for the conference. Two came from outside the state – Greg Olson, Session #174 from Oregon and Bob Pence, SAC Retired and Active member from Colorado. 


Every year we hold our themed Christmas Party on the Thursday evening during the conference. This year the theme was “Back to the 80’s” and our costume winner was Ronda Wallace (left), Session #250. Ronda always participates in our parties and with all the gusto we expect from our members. Runners up were Morgan Warner and Zach Carbaugh. Morgan is Shirley’s daughter who helped in decorating and buying gifts for the party. She has been attending with Shirley for many years because it’s the best Christmas party in town! 

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.  

Joe White.jpg

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.

Steve Bear.jpg

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.

Edwin Mercer.jpg

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.

Tony April.jpg

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. 

Barry Wilson.jpg

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.

Torch Run.jpg

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