by Dick Kauffman
July 25, 2005
Occupied since March 2005, the new 5900 square foot Ward Cove facility will serve the Southeast Alaska Troopers Posts in Haines, Juneau, Klawock, Petersburg, and Ketchikan. This new facility replaces the previous 1800 square foot Ketchikan State Trooper building that was located at 5150 North Tongass Highway.
The new Ketchikan State Trooper Building is equipped with one of the most up-to-date dispatch centers available according to the Alaska State Troopers. The Dispatch Center was made fully operational on Julne 30, 2005 and is the only 24/7 Dispatch Center for the Alaska State Troopers in Southeast Alaska.
The new Ketchikan Trooper Post has its own conference and interview rooms, neither of which were available in the old building. In addition, each Trooper has their own work station which provides a more professional and productive environment in which to conduct follow-up investigations and to speak with victims and witnesses.
In late 2003, the Alaska State Troopers began the process of purchasing the new Ketchikan Detachment Headquarters and Post building from the Ketchikan Gateway Borough. Prior to the Troopers occupying the building in March 2005, many renovations were needed in order to product the optimal floor plan. According the the Alaska State Troopers, new equipment need to be purchased to enable the Troopers, Dispatchers, and other civilian personnel to provide the best service to the citizens of Ketchikan and its surrounding area.
Following the formal blessing and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Ketchikan Trooper Headquarters and Post was an awards ceremony.
Colonel Julia P. Grimes, Director of the Alaska State Troopers, recognized Trooper Mark Eldridge as the 2003 "A" Detachment Trooper of the year. Colonel Grimes said. "Since his arrival in Ketchikan, Trooper Eldridge has consistently performed at an outstanding level."
Grimes said, "An area where Trooper Eldridge has, and continues to excel in is his leadership abilities. For a three-month period from August through November 2003, he acted as the Ketchikan Post Supervisor, while the Post Sergeant was in training. Trooper Eldridge performed this task flawlessly and without hesitation."
"Trooper Eldridge is considered a leader among his peers, and has consistently proven his ability to make excellent decisions and accept additional responsibilities." said Colonel Grimes.
"For these attributes and many others, I am proud to recognize Trooper Mark Eldridge as the 2003 "A" Detachment Trooper of the year," said Grimes.
Major Howard Starbard, the Administrative Commander of Alaska State Troopers based at the Anchorage Headquarters, then recognized Richard Nowland as the 2003 "A" Detachment Civilian Employee of the year and commended Nowland for his efforts and years of service with the Department of Public Safety.
Major Starbard said, "Mr. Nowland has worked as a Radio Dispatcher II for approximately seven years. During this time he has constantly proven himself as invaluable, by his ability to take on multiple tasks and assignments and complete those with little supervision."
"Mr. Nowland has been extremely helpful to his supervisor and is well respected by his co-workers. He displays a professional can-do attitude and treats the public with utmost respect," said Major Starbard.
"For these and many other reason, I am proud to recognize you as the 2003 "A" Detachment Civilian Employee of the year," said Major Starbard.
Next, Colonel Grimes recognized Trooper Walter Blajeski who is assigned to the Klawock Post as the 2004 "A" detachment Trooper of the year.
Grimes said Trooper Blajeski has proven himself as an outstanding Trooper. She said, "An example of this would be a Search and Rescue that occurred on March 30th, 2004, when he responded to a report of a capsized boat with persons in the water. Trooper Blajeski was instrumental in the successful rescue of four people, and even worked late in the night to recover the boat and property of the victims."
"This incident and others like it, are a clear example of Trooper Blajeski's dedication to duty and commitment to serving the citizens of Alaska," said Colonel Grimes.
Grimes said she was proud to recognize Troopers Walter Blajeski as the 2004 "A" Detachment Trooper of the Year.
The final award was presented by Major Howard Starbard to Shelly Dunn who was recognized as the 2004 "A" Detachment Civilian Employee of the year.
Major Starbard said that Dunn had been instrumental in the exhaustive processes involved in the purchase and renovation of the new Ketchikan facility. "From the collecting of information, working with supply and vendors, and her attention to detail, her efforts are largely responsible for this first class facility we can be proud of," he said.
"It is important to mention that Ms. Dunn accomplished all this while continuing to perform her duties as the Ketchikan Post Dispatch Supervisor," said Major Starbard.
Starbard said he was proud to recognize Shelly Dunn as the 2004 "A" Detachment Civilian Employee of the year.
Also attending the building
dedication and awards ceremony Wednesday was William L. Tandeske,
Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Public Safety. Following
the ceremonies, refreshments were served which were furnished
by the Fraternal Order of Alaska State Troopers.
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