Former troopers head Cockrell named Alaska public safety commissioner

Jim Cockrell speaks at the press conference at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center where he was appointed commissioner of the Alaska Department of Public Safety on April 6, 2021. (photo by Sabine Poux)

Former head of the Alaska State Troopers Jim Cockrell has been appointed the new commissioner of the Department of Public Safety by Gov. Mike Dunleavy. 

“I look forward to working with you to make Alaska a safer place,” Cockrell said to Department of Public Safety employees during the announcement in Kenai. He added that he would work tirelessly to ensure the department has the resources and tools they need to do their jobs. 

Cockrell replaces Amanda Price, who resigned in February. Price said she was forced out over disagreements with Dunleavy over personnel and policy. 

Cockrell said that if he lasts in the position four to six years, he would want to be able to say that he made a difference. 

Dunleavy said he doesn’t think the confirmation process will be difficult with Cockrell. His appointment will be subject to a vote of the entire Legislature in joint session. 

This is a developing story, check back for updates.

Andrew Kitchenman is the state government and politics reporter for Alaska Public Media and KTOO in Juneau. Reach him at

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