Alaska Wildlife Trooper, Cody Litster was recently awarded Alaska Wildlife Trooper of the Year and “A” Detachment Trooper of the Year at a ceremony in Anchorage.
Out of 71 wildlife troopers in the state, Litster was at the top.
“This just means that I did my job in 2012,” Litster said. “I am honored that I was chosen.”
Litster has been the lone trooper for Petersburg for the last three and a half years and plans to remain here.
“There is another trooper in Wrangell and the next closest one is in Juneau,” Litster said. “I have the opportunity to work with several different agencies that keeps me from really being alone in this job.”
He has been a trooper for 10 years and moved to Alaska with his wife, Megan in 2001 and loves Alaska.
“In college, I was hoping to become a biologist and when that didn't work out and I wasn't accepted into grad school I came to Alaska for the summer,” Litster said. “I worked construction with the family business and just had to find a way to stay here and this was it.”
Litster spent a little less than 18 months as the trooper for Petersburg when he was new to the position.
“We have one remote mandatory move and this one was open,” Litster explained. “No one wanted to come here, it was like the best kept secret. When I applied the second time, I was the senior bidder out of seven that wanted to move here. I think the secret is out but it doesn't matter, I'm staying.”
Litster explained that he loves Petersburg, the people are great, the schools are exceptional and he and his family will be here long term.
He also explained that being a wildlife trooper is a different sort of law enforcement, there is an openness with the community that makes their well being important to him.
“I seldom put people in jail,” he stated. “I seldom make the difference as to whether someone is unable to work and lose their livelihood.”
His position as trooper in Palmer and Wasilla differed from here because of the people.
“In the Valley, it was a very tourist driven area. There was a smaller area to be patrolled, but more population and an impact had to be made right then,” Litster said. “Here, I will see the same fishermen, families, etc. over and over again. I can make decisions on a case-by-case basis and not send someone to court or make a date with the Magistrate.”
Litster feels that there is plenty to keep him interested and busy for years to come.
“Since I got up here to Alaska, my life has been charmed and I couldn't have written a better script for my life than the one I am living,” he stated. “I plan to retire here. I have seen many other places around the state and I can't think of anywhere I would rather be than here.”