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Alaska officers killed in line of duty

Posted: Sunday, December 28, 2003

With his death Christmas night, Kenai Police Officer John Patrick Watson became the 40th Alaska law enforcement officer to die in the line of duty since statehood.

DORIS WAYNE BARBER

July 28, 1960

Sitka Police Department

Officer Barber was shot while serving a court order for personal property to be returned. He had been with the Sitka Police Department for only 2 months.

LEROY GARVIN BOHUSLOV

March 5, 1964

Department of Fish and Game

Officer Bohuslov died in an aircraft accident while performing a patrol flight outside of McGrath. He was 38 and had been with Fish and Game since 1960.

GARY GEORGE WOHFEIL

March 5, 1964

Department of Fish and Game

Alaska Department of Fish and Game Officer Wohfeil was killed in the same plane crash. He was 21 and had been a member of the Department of Fish and Game for more than a year.

DONALD THOMAS DULL

Oct. 19, 1964

Juneau Police Department

Officer Dull was shot and killed in an accidental shooting in the Juneau Police station. He was the first Juneau officer killed in the line of duty. He was 28.

KENNETH GRANT NAUSKA

Jan. 30, 1966

Craig Police Department

Officer Nauska was shot from an ambush while helping investigate a stabbing. A lifelong Alaskan, Officer Nauska was a nine-year veteran of the Craig Police Department. He was 44.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN STRONG

Jan. 4, 1968

Anchorage Police Department

Officer Strong had volunteered for the stakeout assignment that cost him his life. He was 29 years old when he became the first APD officer since statehood killed in the line of duty.

THOMAS CHARLES DILLION

Nov. 19, 1972

Bethel Police Department

Bethel Police Chief Dillion was gunned down after responding to a "shots fired" call. He was 40 and died as the residents of Bethel were donating blood to help save his life.

DENNIS FINBAR CRONIN

Feb. 18, 1974

Alaska State Troopers

Trooper Cronin was shot and killed during a narcotics investigation. Trooper Cronin was the first Alaska State Trooper killed in the line of duty and was 31 years old at the time of his death.

EARL RAY HOGGARD

March 30, 1974

Ketchikan Police Department

Officer Hoggard was shot and killed as he responded to a disturbance call. He had been with the Ketchikan Police force a year before his death.

LARRY ROBERT CARR

Dec. 11, 1974

Alaska State Troopers

Trooper Carr died in a commercial aircraft crash just outside of Kodiak while traveling to a drowning investigation. He was 23 and had been with the troopers Kodiak Island Detachment.

FRANK STUART RODMAN

Dec. 11, 1974

Alaska State Troopers

Trooper Rodman died in the same airplane crash. He was 33. He had served two years as a city policeman in Kodiak prior to joining the troopers.

JOHNATHAN PAUL FLORA

Sept. 8, 1975

Anchorage Police Department

Officer Flora was shot while responding to a burglary call. He was 33. Officer Flora's widow, Brenda, helped establish the APD K-9 unit.

RICHARD JAMES ADAIR

April 17, 1979

Juneau Police Department

Officer Adair was ambushed while responding to a "shots-fired" call.Officer Adair was a 10-year veteran of the Juneau Police Department.

JIMMY EARL KENNEDY

April 17, 1979

Juneau Police Department

Officer Kennedy was also killed while responding to the same "shots fired" call. He was 32 and had been with the Juneau Police for almost two years.

HARRY EDWARD KIER

Oct. 28, 1980

Anchorage Police Department

Officer Kier died in a squad car crash while responding to a fire at a gas station. He was 30 years old.

ROLAND EDGAR CHEVALIER JR.

April 3, 1982

Alaska State Troopers

Trooper Chevalier was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance. He was 33 and had been with the troopers for six years.

JOHN DAVID STIMSON

Jan. 14, 1983

Fish and Wildlife Protection

Officer Stimson was killed in a helicopter crash during a rescue mission. He was 41 and had served the Department of Public Safety for more than 11 years.

GORDON BREWSTER BARTEL

Jan. 15, 1983

Kodiak Police Department

Officer Bartel was shot and killed by a man he was citing for illegal camping in downtown Kodiak. Officer Bartel was 29 and had been with the Kodiak Police Department for two years.

TROY LYNN DUNCAN

May 19, 1984

Alaska State Troopers

Trooper Duncan was shot and killed during a manhunt for a serial killer near Manley Hot Springs. He was 34 and had been a trooper for almost three years.

DAVID CAMERON HARRIS

July 23, 1984

Fort Richardson Military Police

Sgt. Harris died on duty at the age of 25 as a result of an automobile accident on Tudor Road in Anchorage. He served the U.S. Army as a military police officer with the 56th M.P. Company at Fort Richardson.

IGNATIUS JOHN CHARLIE

May 10, 1985

Alakanuk Police Department

Officer Charlie stopped to investigate an abandoned snowmachine and was shot and killed. He was 20.

HARRY BIDDINGTON HANSON

July 17, 1986

Anchorage Police Department

Officer Hanson was shot while covering gunfire for another officer during a shoot-out. He was 41 and a K-9 officer who had been with the Anchorage Police Department for 8 years.

RONALD EUGENE ZIMIN

Oct. 22, 1986

South Naknek, Public Safety Officer

Officer Zimin was ambushed while investigating a domestic assault call. He was 36 and the first Village Public Safety Officer killed in the line of duty.

LOUIE GORDON MIZELLE

June 6, 1989

Anchorage Police Department

Officer Mizelle was shot several times when he responded to a call of "shots fired." He was 35 and had been with the Anchorage Police Department six years.

ANTHONY "FLIP" JONES

Feb. 12, 1992

Dillingham Police Department

Officer Jones was shot and killed while assisting other officers at the scene of a "shots fired" call. He had been with the Dillingham Police Department for two years.

KARL W. REISHUS

May 4, 1992

Juneau Police Department

Officer Reishus was fatally injured as he tried to save two firefighters during a fire rescue training incident. He was 29 and had been with the Juneau Police Department for two years.

ROBERT L. BITTICK

Oct. 11, 1994

Alaska State Troopers

Sgt. Bittick died in an aircraft accident north of Haines in the Yukon Territory. He had been with the troopers for 12 years and was 55 years old.

C. E. SWACKHAMMER

Oct. 11, 1994

Department of Public Safety

Deputy Commissioner of Public Safety Swackhammer, who was known as "Swack," died in the same aircraft accident. He was appointed deputy

commissioner in 1992 and was 51 years old.

DAN RICHARD SEELY

Oct. 26, 1996

Anchorage Police Department

Officer Seely was shot and killed while serving a warrant. Officer Seely was 40 and a 10-year veteran of the Anchorage Police Department.

BRUCE ALAN HECK

Jan. 10, 1997

Alaska State Troopers

Trooper Heck was killed while struggling with a suspect who had stolen a car. He was a 21-year police veteran of the Alaska State Troopers.

JOHN KEVIN LAMM

Jan. 1, 1998

Fairbanks Police Department

Officer Lamm was gunned down by a suicidal subject. Officer Lamm had been with the Fairbanks Police Department for three years and was 26.

DAVID CALVIN CHURCHILL

Sept. 16, 1998

Fish and Wildlife Protection

Sgt. Churchill died of a heart attack while checking a hunting camp on the Alaska Peninsula. He was 51 and had been with the Alaska State Troopers for 12 years.

JAMES ARLAND ROWLAND Jr.

May 15, 1999

Palmer Police Department

Officer Rowland was fatally shot while struggling with a man in the Carrs parking lot in Palmer. Officer Rowland was 30, a three-year veteran of the Palmer Police Department and the first officer killed in the line of duty in the history of the department.

RICHARD I. LUHT JR.

Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation

Jan. 31, 1999

Special Agent Luht died in an automobile accident while on duty in Fairbanks. He had been with IRS Criminal Investigation for 26 years conducting criminal investigations relating to Internal Revenue Service laws. He was 48.

JAMES A. MOEN

Fish and Wildlife Protection

June 25, 2001

Fish and Wildlife Protection Trooper Jim Moen died in a plane crash while patrolling a remote area southwest of Lake Iliamna. The 17-year veteran of the Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection was 49.

JUSTIN TODD WOLLAM

July 9, 2001

Anchorage Police Department

Officer Justin Wollam was helping to apprehend a suspected drunk driver when the driver crossed the highway and struck Officer Wollam's patrol car head-on. Officer Wollam was 28 and a two-year veteran of the Anchorage Police Department.

HANS PETER LOTHAR ROELLE

Nov. 24, 2001

Alaska State Troopers

Trooper Roelle was shot and killed while attempting to rescue two children during a domestic disturbance in Wasilla. Trooper Roelle, 40, was a 17-year veteran of the Alaska State Troopers.

JAMES HESTERBERG

Nov. 19, 2002

Department of Corrections

Prisoner Transportation Officer James "Jamie" Hesterberg and his partner, Prisoner Transportation Officer Dennis Nilsen, were transporting seven inmates to Spring Creek Correctional Center when a commercial transport truck struck the van they were in. Officer Hesterberg, who was driving the van, and four of the inmates died at the scene.Officer Hesterberg, 48, had served as a correctional officer and prisoner transportation officer for the past 18 years. He was the first correctional officer in the history of Alaska to die in the line of duty.

THOMAS O'HARA

Dec. 19, 2002

National Park Service

Law Enforcement Ranger O'Hara died when his plane went down on the tundra east of Upper Ugashik Lake. Ranger O'Hara was an experienced commercial pilot with more than 11,000 hours flying time when he began working for the National Park Service in 1997. He was 41.

John Patrick Watson

Dec. 25, 2003

Kenai Police Department

An 18-year veteran of the Kenai Police Department, Officer Watson was shot and killed after responding to a welfare check call. He was 43 and the first Kenai police officer killed in the line of duty.



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