DISAPPROVES OF CHANGE OF MOTTO AND ‘BRAND’ OF ALASKA STATE TROOPERS
Mike Metrokin, a retired Alaska State Trooper first sergeant, felt so strongly about the re-branding of the Alaska State Trooper motto and logo that he sent his awards as Outpost Trooper of the Year and Meritorious Service Award back to the department — to Commissioner Walt Monegan.
To the Trooper community, this act is the equivalent of a soldier sending back the Legion of Merit and Silver Star.
“I cannot wrap my head around why it is the input, service, and dedication of those who served before you and the current Director is not enough to stop the implementation of changing our logo and motto that stood as a reason for our service since before Alaska was the 49th,” he wrote.
Metrokin was awarded Outpost Trooper of the Year for his service in Sitka, where he was stationed for six months without backup.
His Meritorious Service award was from 1983, when he was a responder to a mass murder in McCarthy, when six people were killed on March 1 after Louis Hastings methodically hunted them down one by one and slaughtered them. Hastings had planned to steal a plane and crash it into the Trans Alaska Pipeline as a way to stop oil production.
Hastings was tracked by Troopers outside of McCarthy, where he was found on a snow machine.
“Yes, these probably were deserved at the time. But, what made them special in my heart was they came from those who came before me. Those who set the standard,” Metrokin wrote Commissioner Monegan. “Now, you and your Director are taking away from those who served —- so much that I am at a loss why any of the changes are seen as a good idea. So, you might as well have these too.”
The Alaska Department of Public Safety paid an ad agency in Anchorage, Yuit Communications, to come up with a new look for the Troopers’ recruiting division as a way of appealing to a new generation of potential uniformed officers.
The new look has been widely derided as derivative of an online YouTube gaming channel, and the motto has left many retired Troopers dismayed.