Virtually an island of US territory in a sea of foreign countries, the State of Alaska shares international borders with Canada, and international waters with Russia. That means that federal law enforcement officers working to secure and protect Alaska must manage sea and land border operations in addition to upholding the usual federal laws that apply to the rest of the states.
There are approximately 6,212 federal officers and agents doing just this in the state, working in defense and through the Department of Homeland Security, which recently approved a state grant to Alaska for over $2.8 million.
Learning about Federal Law Enforcement Careers in Alaska
Candidates interested in learning about federal law enforcement careers in Alaska can begin by researching first which agencies are operating within the state, and second, the required prerequisites for federal law enforcement jobs with these agencies. Taking this latter point, prospective agents and officers should expect to encounter the education requirement of at least a bachelor degree for most positions. Some basic subjects to consider for study include:
- Homeland Security
- Emergency Management
- Public Administration
- Crime Scene Investigation
- Police Science
- Public Safety
Additional training for federal law enforcement jobs may also be required for more specialized positions, which can also mandate college degrees in other fields such as IT, the sciences, or Business. If candidates are not yet certain with which federal agency to pursue employment, they may find it helpful to consider some recent federal law enforcement operations in Alaska.
Federal Law Enforcement Operations by Sea and Air
Alaska’s large maritime border makes for plenty of examples of recent federal law enforcement sea operations, including:
- Coast Guard officers monitored and coordinated the response to a recent 7,000-gallon gasoline spill in a Kake harbor after shifting tides cause a fuel line to be torn by a floating pier. The operation was completed in cooperation with local law enforcement and fire department officials.
- After two injured boaters called for help, US Coast Guard Officers based out of Juneau deployed an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter to fly to their assistance. The two passengers were safely rescued and transported for treatment to Mount Edgecumbe Hospital.
- To date, the US Coast Guard in Alaska has completed 1,156 search-and-rescue operations, and there are currently 14 cutters, 52 boats, and 17 aircraft stationed at Alaska Coast Guard posts.
Federal Law Enforcement Operations by Land
Besides sea operations, federal law enforcement also deals with traditional criminal and regulatory activity:
- Customs and Border Protection Officers based out of Anchorage recently discovered an export scheme in cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents. The fraud involved a Hong-Kong-based import-export company under-declaring the value of the goods it was actually importing and selling to US customers. However CBP’s Regulatory Audit Unit discovered discrepancies which led to charges against the company including nearly $2 million in fines.
- The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in Anchorage recently arrested two King Salmon residents after they conspired to create a list of 15 people they believed should be executed in domestic-terrorist-style operations. Although neither of the would-be terrorists took action on their hit list, they both made false statements to investigators which resulted in each pleading guilty to such charges.
- Special officers from a combination of federal agencies took part in a recent operation that was directed by the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force. Five Alaskans were arrested in the culmination of the investigation on charges relating to international money laundering in a scheme that transferred funds – obtained through cocaine trafficking – from Alaska to the Dominican Republic. Participating federal agencies included:
- US Coast Guard
- Homeland Security
- US Marshals Service
- IRS-Criminal Investigations
- US Postal Inspection Service
Federal Law Enforcement Agency Locations in Alaska
Alaska federal law enforcement jobs are based at various locations across the state, mainly in the vicinity to the population served. This includes the following offices:
- FBI Anchorage Field Office at 101 East 6th Avenue
- DEA Anchorage District Office at 1630 East Tudor Road
- ATF Anchorage Field Office at 222 West 7th Avenue
- US Secret Service Office in Anchorage
- Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services in Fort Richardson
- 12 different CBP Ports of Entry
- US Marshals Service with offices in:
- US Coast Guard bases in:
- Saint Paul
- Dutch Harbor