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.
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.
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 (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.