Parnell Names Folger Public Safety Commissioner

Gov. Sean Parnell has appointed a new Public Safety commissioner.

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Gary Folger, who retired from the department as a colonel last May, has been chosen to replace Joe Masters. Masters resigned in October after five years in the post.

The appointment is subject to legislative approval.

Col. Keith Mallard had been acting as interim commissioner.

According to biographical information provided by the governor’s office, the 55-year-old Folger began his law enforcement career in 1979 with the Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection in Cantwell.

Folger graduated from the Public Safety Academy in 1981, joined the Alaska State Troopers and rose in the ranks, being promoted to colonel in 2007 and overseeing the Division of Alaska Wildlife Troopers. While with the department, he also was a pilot and boat operator.

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