Enforce fish and game laws; preserve public peace; protect life, property, and resources.
- Enhance recreational boating safety patrols.
- Enhance proactive wildlife patrols and investigations through increased field presence.
|Mission Results||Core Services|
|Mission Results||Core Services|
|A: Result - Protect lives.|
Target #1: Reduce recreational boating accident deaths to fewer than 14 annual fatalities
Analysis of results and challenges: Fatalities from recreational boating accidents rose again for the second consecutive year. The target of less than 14 recreational boating deaths was exceeded. The number of deaths is similar to the peak in 2012.
Alaska Wildlife Troopers (AWT) are working to increase boating safety education and checking for compliance with law and regulation, including personal flotation device possession and use -- especially education among adults, as adult deaths continue to make up the majority of fatalities.
AWT conducted several targeted boating safety patrols during the past year in conjunction with advertised national campaigns and on historically busy weekends. Troopers investigate recreational boating accidents, injuries, and fatalities in state waters.
|A1: Core Service - Enhance recreational boating safety patrols.|
Target #1: 10% increase in boating safety contacts over the previous 2-year average
Number of Boating Safety Contacts by Alaska Wildlife Troopers Compared to Previous 2-Year Average
Analysis of results and challenges: The Alaska Wildlife Troopers (AWT) measure the number of boating contacts reported when Alaska boating safety and compliance inspections are conducted by AWT personnel. This activity is performed during specific patrols for boating safety and while contacting boaters during general patrols for hunting and fishing activity. This one-on-one contact with recreational boaters provides AWT an opportunity to check for compliance and provide education to the general public about boating safety requirements. Although contacts increased over the last year, generally the number of contacts have decreased in the last three years. Contributing factors to this decrease are reduced patrols due to reduce operating funds for patrol vessels as well as a reduction in AWT personnel. This necessitated a change in operations which focuses efforts in areas where concerns for natural resource enforcement are highest and removes Troopers from areas where recreational boating contacts are more likely.
Contact is the term that describes AWT interacting with the boating public. Contacts represent the number of boats encountered, as opposed to the number of boaters. Contacts demonstrate the presence of law enforcement on the water, which is a deterrent to behaviors that are unlawful.
Contacts give AWT an interface to promote safe and lawful boating activity and positively influence behaviors, promoting the prevention of accidents, injuries, and fatalities on the water. During these contacts, the benefits of state boating safety laws are demonstrated to the boating public.
Target #2: 10% increase in hours spent conducting public education appearances over the previous 2-year average
Number of Hours Spent by Alaska Wildlife Troopers on Boating Safety Education Compared to Previous 2-Year Average
Analysis of results and challenges: The hours Alaska Wildlife Troopers (AWT) spent on teaching boating safety increased in FY2018, but is still significantly lower FY2013, FY2014, and FY2015.
AWT delivers boating safety presentations in schools in conjunction with the Department of Natural Resources, Office of Boating Safety which is the activity reported above. However, AWT also presents boating safety information while presenting to hunter education classes as well as while meeting with hunting, fishing, and other outdoor groups. AWT has been targeting these groups because the overwhelming majority of recreational boating fatalities in Alaska in past years have been adults. AWT also conducts education on the water while contacting boaters during directed boating safety patrols. This measure documents efforts to educate the public in how to boat safely and prevent injury, accident, and loss of life on the water.
The increase in time spent on this activity is partially attributed to efforts to provide boating safety instructor training to additional Troopers, increasing the cadre of personnel who are providing this service to Alaskans.
|B: Result - Protect wildlife resources.|
Target #1: Wildlife violations detected less than 5% of total resource user contacts
Percentage of Wildlife Violations Detected per User Contacts by Alaska Wildlife Troopers
Analysis of results and challenges: The number of resource users contacted by Alaska Wildlife Troopers (AWT) decreased for the second consecutive year. Wildlife violations detected also decreased slightly as a percentage of total contacts over the previous year; however the amount was less than one half of one percent. The decrease in resource user contacts is a result of restricted operations of AWT personnel, as well as a shift in operations to times and areas where risk to natural resources is perceived to be the greatest.
These numbers do not include citations written by wildlife troopers for non-natural resource law violations, such as those generated for traffic enforcement or other general law enforcement duties. The wildlife troopers averaged seven vacancies throughout the year. In addition to the vacancies, budget reductions forced AWT positions to be eliminated. In the last four years, AWT has eliminated eight Trooper positions, and seven non-commissioned positions which support operations, resulting in less coverage statewide. AWT is attempting to focus efforts where concerns for populations of wild stocks of fish and game are high, but the opportunity to contact the general public engaged in hunting and fishing activity are often reduced. In addition, AWT vacant positions has shifted in the past year from occurring in rural areas to urban areas. Troopers assigned to rural areas typically have fewer contacts than those assigned to urban areas due to the volume of resource users encountered.
Targeting 95% compliance is a reasonable goal. Less than 95% compliance indicates a need to reevaluate enforcement presence and education efforts. A loss of commissioned personnel meant fewer hours were available to spend on education.
AWT prefers to change this performance goal as it does not accurately reflect AWT performance or the number of violations discovered by AWT. In addition, there are a number of inconsistencies in reporting for this target which fail to truly reflect resource user contacts and violations discovered. As an example, the column indicating the number of violations detected has historically been reported solely for citations issued. It does not account for violations for which the person was warned which frequently occurs when a Trooper contacts a person and discovers multiple violations. A more accurate measure of the percentage of violations per contact would be to report the total of citations and warnings per contact. A review of historical data reflects a consistent violation rate of between 10 to 13 percent.
AWT would welcome a discussion on a more appropriate measure of effectiveness.
|B1: Core Service - Enhance proactive wildlife patrols and investigations through increased field presence.|
Target #1: Five-year average number of resource user contacts
Number of Alaska Wildlife Trooper Resource User Contacts
Analysis of results and challenges: The number of resource users contacted by Alaska Wildlife Troopers (AWT) during FY2017 decreased slightly. The decrease is a direct result of a lower number of Troopers in the field due to a decrease in the number of Troopers overall and support staff who perform non-law enforcement duties. A change in operation, with a goal of concentrating enforcement effort in areas where violations can potentially cause the most damage to resources, has often resulted in Troopers making a fewer number of contact with the general public who are engaged in resource use activities.
Patrols are an indication of AWT presence in the field, and presence of law enforcement is a deterrent to unlawful behavior. The objective of user contacts is to ensure that laws and regulations are being observed by resource users as well as to educate users and reinforce positive behaviors.
Current as of September 4, 2018