Our next meeting will be Saturday, October 1, 2022, at the APOA office in Anchorage. Details TBA as we get closer… stay tuned!
2022 Annual Membership Meeting
Women Police of Alaska will be holding it’s 2022 Annual Membership Meeting after the Alaska Peace Officers Association Training Conference, on May 4, 2022, at 5:00 p.m., Lakefront Hotel, Turnagain Room.
Thank you to all those that supported our organization in August when we were honored by the Alaska Legislature for the successful 2019 IAWP Conference. A winter gathering is in the works so keep an eye out for the next notice. Enjoy the rest of Summer (and in to hunting season!)
IAWP Registration is Open!
We are happy to announce that we have set up a SPECIAL REDUCED RATE that is ONLY for delegate registration during the 2017 Cairns conference, August 12 – September 21, 2017!
This rate is the very lowest we are going to be able to offer, so jump on board and make your plans for IAWP 2019 Anchorage!
Click here for the IAWP 2019 Anchorage Website to register and stay up to date (admittedly, we don’t have much info up there now, but we are working on it!)
April 2017 Letter from the President
Welcome to the Women Police of Alaska version 2017!
When I started in law enforcement, I was the only female officer in the department. Back in those days, uniforms were ordered from a catalog and took weeks to arrive. On my first day, they had me go through a 4-foot high pile of shirts and pants that were thrown into a corner of a closet to pick out my uniform until mine arrived. They were all men’s sizes and I looked like a little kid trying on daddy’s clothes. It’s no wonder the people I worked with gave me about as much regard as they would a kid who walked among them. In those first few weeks, I had no idea how to fit in. There was no one who would show me the ropes, tell me the tricks, or make me feel welcome.
When the Women Police of Alaska was first formed, I knew I had to join. It wasn’t because I thought the dinosaurs I first worked with still ruled the earth. It was because I knew how tough it was for me to break into a male-dominated field and I felt I had some knowledge and experience that may help others in that journey. I found that women have a lot to contribute to the field of law enforcement and there are not nearly enough of us at the moment. I also learned that mentoring can be empowering to those that give as well as those that receive.
The WPA is an affiliate of the International Association of Women Police (IAWP). The international group brings together cultures and perspectives that broaden our world view of women in policing. It is not only a fantastic opportunity, but an awesome undertaking for the WPA to host the 2019 IAWP conference in Anchorage. Our theme is Mentoring the Next Generation. This particular theme was echoed in many of the classes I took at the 2016 conference in Barcelona. Mentoring is a need we share and a gift we can offer. This will be a great time to watch our unique group of members come together with a focus of providing excellent training, organizational moxie, and a spirit of enthusiasm for our state. I look forward to making over 700 new friends at the conference and hope you will join in the fun and occasional hard work to make this a terrific experience. If you aren’t a member, please join us. If you are a member, stay tuned for the world’s biggest punch list of conference chores.
Stay safe and do good things,
March 2015 Letter from the President
Wow. It is already March, which really shouldn’t be too hard to believe with our noticeable lack of snow this winter of 2014 -2015. In fact, what a difference a year makes as evidence by my deck below – the top photo was taken on March 15, 2014 and the bottom taken on March 15, 2015. Even more unusual, my deck looked like the bottom photo in mid-February as well!
But forget about a year, the next month is going to be an especially busy one for Women Police of Alaska.
First of all – we have our biennial elections to be accomplished by April 20, 2015, the date of our next Biannual General Membership meeting at the Glacier Brewhouse at noon in Anchorage on the first day of the Alaska Peace Officers Association 2015 Crime Conference. I plan to send balloting out around April 10, but first, I need to hear from those interested in running for the board, or nominations – all positions are up for election including my position – President (I will remain on the board as Past-President). If I don’t hear from you, you may be hearing from me!
Second, the 6th annual Women in Law Enforcement Recruitment Fair in October of 2014 was such a success, UAA Career Services and the Alaska State Troopers would like to have a spring fair, we can call it the 6 ½ Annual Women in LE Recruitment Fair, on April 15, 2015 in the Student Union at the University of Alaska Anchorage from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Here is a link to the blog from our 6th Annual Fair in October: http://uaajusticecenter.blogspot.com/2014/11/a-look-at-6th-annual-women-in-law.html.
And third, during the 55th Annual APOA Crime Conference, which will be held at the Anchorage Sheraton from April 20-24, 2015, Women Police of Alaska will be hosting a silent auction during the Thursday, April 23, evening banquet and wine-tasting event. The proceeds, as in past years, will go towards our scholarship fund in hopes that we can fund a scholarship for 2015-2106. I’m looking for both donated items to auction, or ideas for to whom I can grovel (I will do the groveling) for donations. Even if you are not attending the APOA conference, all WPA members are invited to attend the wine-tasting / silent auction event and I hope many of you will.
And while I am on the subject of the APOA Crime Conference, at our December 3, 2014 WPA membership meeting, we passed a motion to sponsor a WPA member to 2015 APOA Crime Conference in Anchorage. That is, we will cover the full conference fee – free, complimentary – better than a Groupon. The full conference includes all training, events, door prize opportunities, meals and snacks. Send me an email at email@example.com if you are interested. If we have several who are interested, we will do something creative like cast lots to see who attends!
You will be hearing from me again sooner than you think. In the meantime, stay safe!
September 2014 Letter from the President
I believe the first question I asked in my last newsletter was – Where does the time go? Well, five months have passed, and I still do not know the answer to that question. In fact, I have a new question – Where did the Alaska summer of 2014 go??
To bring you up-to-date on what we have done since spring, and what we are doing as an association, we had our biannual spring General Membership Meeting on May 12, 2014 in Fairbanks during the 2014 APOA Annual Crime Conference.
On Saturday, August 9, we had our annual WPA Picnic in Wasilla at Rae Arno’s Wildwood Farm. It was a “class reunion” of sorts. We had several members who have retired from law enforcement, and some who had moved out of state who were able to be in Alaska, join us, including past Presidents Julia Grimes and Dyanne Brown, and Cindy Moore and others. You can view some photos from our picnic in our PHOTO GALLERY. What started out as one of our signature rainy August days gave way to a very pleasant afternoon. It is always great to see old friends and new ones at our picnics and meetings.
Speaking of retired WPA members, we can now add to that group Shirley Coté, a past president and founder of the Women Police of Alaska in 1997. Shirley retired from her most recent position as Director of the State of Alaska Alcoholic Beverage Control Board in May 2014 after 33 years in law enforcement. Shirley’s heralded law enforcement career included 2 years as a deputy sheriff with the Meridian Township Police in Michigan, 20 years with the Anchorage Police Department, where she was promoted to the level of Captain, and over 6 years as Chief of Police of the Soldotna (Alaska) Police Department. She spent about 6 years as a consultant and trainer before being appointed Director of the ABC Board by then Governor Sarah Palin in January of 2009. Shirley was also instrumental in bringing the worldwide conference for the International Association of Women Police (IAWP) to Anchorage in 1985 and 1998 (see our PHOTO GALLERY – no, really, see our PHOTO GALLERY – there are some really swell pictures of Shirley there!). Shirley has already said she is as busy in retirement as she was while working, which is good, because that means we will still be able to see her around town. Congratulations, Shirley, on this next exciting chapter of your life!
In other news, we have recently received word from the UAA Justice Center and the Alaska State Troopers, our partners, that we will have a 6th Annual Women in Law Enforcement Recruitment Fair on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014. The LE fair will be from 9:00 AM to 3 PM at the UAA Student Union (near the bookstore). Parking is free that day. If you know anyone, male or female, interested in an exciting career in law enforcement, send them our way. Photos of recruitment fairs past can be viewed in our Photo GALLERY and at our POLICE RECRUITING FAIR link.
Speaking of the UAA Justice Center, the Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center recently completed and published a Fact Sheet regarding “State and Local Law Enforcement Personnel in Alaska: 1982-2012” highlighting law enforcement personnel numbers of local and state agencies, including the representation of women in policing in Alaska. In short, as of 2012, the percentage of female sworn officers in Alaska is 8.3% of total LE officers, down from a high of 10.2% in 2004. The Anchorage Police Department, the largest agency in the state by total sworn officers, fairs a bit better with the percentage of female sworn officers at 14% as of 2012. The study only includes state and local sworn officers, and does not consider the large population of federal law enforcement officers assigned here in our state. You can read the complete study at the following link:
That’s it for now. Our next meeting will be in December during the APSC Executive Conference in Anchorage during the first week of December 2014. Check back to this website for meeting details. Have a wonderful rest of 2014 and Merry Christmas if I don’t see you before then!
April 2014 Letter from the President
Welcome to the Women Police of Alaska webpage! Where does the time go? This is my first entry for 2014 and it is already April!
After a busy and productive 2013, we are gearing up for 2014 with our upcoming biannual spring General Membership Meeting on May 12, 2014 in Fairbanks during the 2014 APOA Annual Crime Conference. The meeting will be held at the Fairbanks Police Department, 911 Cushman Rd Fairbanks at noon. It is always great to see old friends and new ones at the meetings.
It is still not too late to register and attend the Crime Conference (http://www.apoa2014.jigsy.com/) – the Farthest North Chapter has planned some great training and networking events – and the weather in Fairbanks is already fabulous.
Check back after our May meeting to see what we have planned for the second half of the year. In the meantime, I hope to see many of you in Fairbanks!
November 2013 Letter from the President
Welcome to the Women Police of Alaska webpage! I regret the delay in updating our website, but the fabulous Alaska summer of 2013 got in the way! Nonetheless, your Women Police of Alaska organization has been busy since my last update in February 2013.
To begin the year, we had our biennial elections in April. The officers elected to a two-year term from 2013 to 2015 are as follows: President: Michele Logan, Vice-President: Kris Sell, Secretary: Julie-Dee Sharkey, Treasurer: Rae Arno, and Board Members: Kelly Alzaharna, Maxine Andrews, Sherrie Daigle, and Andrea Jacobson.
In May, we had our first of two annual General Membership meetings at Froso’s in Soldotna during the APOA Crime Conference week. We had a great showing and an all-around fabulous time. See photos of the meeting and the swearing-in of the new officers in our PHOTO GALLERY.
In June, we had our annual WPA Summer Picnic at Rae Arno’s Wildwood Farm in Wasilla. We had several members make it in from Fairbanks and points beyond. And as was keeping with our summer in general this year, we had fantasic weather, great food, fun and fellowship. See the photos in our PHOTO GALLERY.
We inducted our fourth all-time Life Member into the Women Police of Alaska at our June picnic. Angella Long, a long time Board Member of the WPA since just about our inception as an organization, and a committee member of the 1998 IAWP Anchorage conference undertaking, was recognized for her contributions to WPA with a Life Membership. Angella recently retired (we’ll see how long that holds up) from the Alaska Department of Public Safety Professional Standards, and before that as Chief of Police of Wasilla PD. A wonderful and storied law enforcement career here in Alaska by all accounts. Congratulations Angella!
We rounded out the fourth quarter of 2013 with the 5th Annual Women in Law Enforcement Recruitment Fair at the University of Alaska Anchorage on October 4, 2013, partnering with the Alaska State Troopers, the Alaska Association of Chiefs of Police and the UAA Justice Center. The 2013 fair was a our biggest fair yet, despite the absence of several federal law enforcement agencies due to the federal shut down in early October 2013. A photo blog of the 2013 fair can be found at the following link, courtesy of Barbara Armstrong of the UAA Justice Center:
To wrap up 2103, we have our second biannual general membership meeting of the year on December 4, 2103 during the APSC Executive Development Conference in Anchorage. Dave and Betsy Smith of the Winning Mind seminars, and friends and favorites of law enforcement here in Alaska will be the featured trainers at this year’s conference.
See our MEETINGS and EVENTS tab to get the most up-to-date meeting place and time for our general membership meeting. I hope to see you on December 4th!
February 2013 Letter from the President
Welcome to the Women Police of Alaska webpage! I hope 2013 is going well for each of you. I tried to get this update sent out in January, but the next thing I knew, it was February! I’m sure many of you can relate!
We rounded out the fourth quarter of 2012 with the 4th Annual Women in Law Enforcement Recruitment Fair at the University of Alaska Anchorage, October 24, 2012, partnering with the Alaska State Troopers, the Alaska Association of Chiefs of Police and the UAA Justice Center. The 2012 was a success and a blog, courtesy of Barbara Armstrong of the UAA Justice Center, can be found at: http://uaajusticecenter.blogspot.com/2012/12/a-look-back-at-2012-women-in-law.html.
In conjunction with the Women in Law Enforcement Career week, WPA member Kelly Alzaharna, who also happens to be the Director of the Alaska Police Standards Council –APSC-(Alaska’s “POST”), was able to facilitate bringing the training class “Career and Tactical Survival for Women” to Anchorage with renowned trainer Betsy Brantner-Smith on October 25, 2012. Over 60 women AND men attended the training and WPA provided refreshments for the class.
Closing out the year, we had our second biannual general membership meeting of the year in December during the APSC Executive Development Conference.
In other news, in September 2012, one of our members, Gwen Grimes, an officer with the North Slope Borough Police Department, was featured in an Officer.com article about challenges with clothing and gear used by patrol officers in climates ranging “From Balmy to Bitter Cold”. You guessed it – Gwen’s part was about the bitter cold! You can read the informative article at: http://www.officer.com/article/10773520/from-balmy-to-bitter-cold.
And lastly, 2013 is a biennial election year for WPA. All positions on the Board of Directors will be up for election or re-election. The offices of President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and four Board members at large will be on the ballot. Angella Long and Pat Liss have graciously volunteered to be the nominating committee and seek nominations for the ballots to be sent out in April in advance of our next biannual general membership meeting at the 2013 APOA Crime Conference which will be held in Kenai May 20-24 this year.
Best wishes to you all for a SAFE and prosperous 2013!