Alaska in Brief

Alaska State Troopers seek $7.5 million for new large patrol boat

By: - February 21, 2023 4:00 am

The 84-foot Alaska State Troopers patrol boat Enforcer is seen in this undated photo provided by the Alaska Department of Public Safety. (Courtesy photo)

After a fall inspection found its 84-foot patrol boat unsafe to operate, the Alaska Department of Public Safety is asking state legislators for $7.5 million to buy a new one.

The request was included in Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s amended budget proposal, released last week, and is now under consideration in the Capitol.

“The P/V Enforcer, based out of Juneau, was recently decommissioned because of significant corrosion and pitting in the steel of the vessel and a serious degradation of the cabin of the vessel, including a large mold infestation,” said Austin McDaniel, a spokesperson for the department.

A November inspection turned up a wide range of problems, including aging equipment, wasted steel and leaking hatches, causing the Enforcer to be decommissioned at the start of January, he said. 

The Department of Public Safety operates 88 boats of all sizes, and the Enforcer is the department’s second-largest, behind only the 156-foot Stimson, which patrols commercial fisheries out of Kodiak.

The Enforcer, assigned to Southeast Alaska, occasionally serves as a mobile command post and emergency response boat. It was built in 2004, according to the DPS website.

It could be repaired, the department said, at an estimated cost of $3 million and two years, but those repairs would extend the boat’s life for only 10 years.

A new large patrol boat could operate for 30 years, the department estimates, operate in more extreme weather conditions, and be more effective overall.

The department’s proposal is included in the amended capital budget, now under review by budget subcommittees in the House and Senate.

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James Brooks
James Brooks

James Brooks is a longtime Alaska reporter, having previously worked at the Anchorage Daily News, Juneau Empire, Kodiak Mirror and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. A graduate of Virginia Tech, he is married to Caitlyn Ellis, owns a house in Juneau and has a small sled dog named Barley. He can be contacted at [email protected].

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