2017-07-06 / Front Page

EX-JAMESTOWN OFFICER SETS HIS SIGHTS ON ALASKA

Pages now a state trooper in Last Frontier
BY RYAN GIBBS


Pages with his oldest child, Cadance, and his youngest son, Austin. Pages with his oldest child, Cadance, and his youngest son, Austin. A former Jamestown police officer who has moved from the smallest state to the largest will continue to protect and serve in the Land of the Midnight Sun.

Pierre Pages graduated June 9 from the Alaskan state police academy. He entered the academy after resigning from the Jamestown Police Department Feb. 20. A native Jamestowner, Pages joined the force in January 2013, and also served on the town’s volunteer fire department.

Pages said the differences between his old job and his new one are vast, both figuratively and literally.

“It’s different because of the sheer size of Alaska and the environment you work in,” he said. ”After I get off field training, my patrol area will be greater than the size of Rhode Island, just in square mileage.”

Southern Alaska is a long way — about 4,680 miles to be exact — from Jamestown. Pages grew up on the island, and joined the U.S. Coast Guard after graduating in 2000 from Rogers High School in Newport, and was first stationed in Florida before being posted in Alaska.


Pierre Pages rings a bell outside the Alaskan state police training academy. 
PHOTOS BY NORMAN KAPLAN Pierre Pages rings a bell outside the Alaskan state police training academy. PHOTOS BY NORMAN KAPLAN Pages said he fell in love with Alaska — and his wife, a native of the state — during his service, and had yearned to return there following his discharge from the Coast Guard in 2004.

“It’s just been something that’s always been calling me back,” he said. “My time spent up here was enjoyable, and I figured it was a great place to raise a family.”

He said he wanted to continue his police work in his new home, and chose to join the state police because of the force’s importance in Alaska and the sense of independence that working in the wilderness provides.


Pierre Pages at his graduation ceremony from the Alaskan state police academy. Pierre Pages at his graduation ceremony from the Alaskan state police academy. “It’s the responsibility of being in rural law enforcement,” he said. “[It’s] just the ability to go out on my own and have such a huge responsibility in a vast area of coverage. You can spend an entire 12-hour shift just driving to a call.”

The job of an Alaskan state trooper is also different from their counterparts in the Ocean State and include additional responsibilities aside from routine highway patrol or the apprehension of wanted criminals. For instance, wildlife enforcement and state troopers are under the same jurisdiction of the Alaska Department of Public Safety.

After Pages’ graduation, he remained at the police academy in Sitka for three weeks for training sessions, where he and his fellow recruits received further instruction on a variety of topics, ranging from search-and-rescue operations to media relations.

When he completed the

Pages has been living in Soldotna with his wife, Michelle, and their two children while he completes his field training. The city is on the Kenai Peninsula on Alaska’s southern coast, and has a smaller population (4,445) than Jamestown. It is 147 miles southwest of Anchorage, the nearest major population center.

Once he finishes his training and becomes a trooper, Pages said he wants to bring the same sense of community policing found in small New England towns like Jamestown to rural Alaska.

“I’m going to try to model myself here as I would have in Jamestown,” he said. “I’m going to get out into the community and I’m going to stop by in the local schools. It would be assuring to me to apply everything I’ve learned in Jamestown as a community police officer and try to apply that in a bigger scale.”

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