Law officers recruit students


Photo by Toby Monroe

Visiting VPSO Jody Potts

State and federal law enforcement officers met with Galena high school students on Feb. 25 to talk about career opportunities in their field.

“We want you to be productive citizens no matter where you live,” said Lt. Lonny Piscoya, who serves with the Alaska State Troopers in the Fairbanks detachment. “We want to help you with your goals.”

More than 200 students at two assemblies on the GILA and SHS campuses heard from representatives of the Alaska State Troopers, Alaska Juvenile Probation Officers, the U.S. Marshalls Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Village Public Safety Officers, and the Galena Police Department.

Much of the presentation focused on the needs of the Native Alaskan community.

“There’s never been a Native Alaskan special agent (in the FBI),” said Kurt Ormberge, an FBI special agent serving in the Anchorage office. “We’d like to see in seven or eight years an Alaskan Native special agent.”

Jody Juneby Potts, a village public safety officer who coordinates the program for the Tanana Chiefs Conference, spoke at length about her childhood in Eagle.

“Having traditional values grounded me,” she said. “It’s great to give back to my people.”

“Aim high… all these agencies are recruiting,” she said, telling students to stay out of trouble and avoid getting a criminal record. “Don’t forget your traditional values.”

Others who spoke with students were Jeannine Santora, Alaska state trooper; Darrell Hildebrand, Alaska wildlife trooper from Galena; Robert Nunley, Alaska state trooper; Diana Dillard, juvenile probation officer; Jeremy Raychel, juvenile probation officer; Mick Bunn, U.S. Marshalls Service; Scott Ireton, U.S. Marshalls Service; Rick Sutherland, FBI special agent; Joshua Harville, village public safety officer; Sheri White, probation and parole officer for the Alaska Department of Corrections; Susan Phillips, FBI; Aaron Parker, city of Galena chief of police; Delila Schmidt, probation and parole officer for the Alaska Department of Corrections; Dawn Neer, task force officer for the FBI; and Phil Plessinger, village public safety officer.