Public Safety
in the Northwest Arctic Borough

The Public Safety Department administers all NAB activities in relation to promotion of public safety in the region, firefighting, search and rescue, administration of the NAB’s Village Public Safety Officer program, and any other functions incidental to the improvement of regional Public safety.

Village Public Safety Officer
(VPSO) Program

The Northwest Arctic Borough Village Public Safety Officer Program is a vital community initiative designed to ensure the safety and well-being of residents in remote Alaskan villages. These officers serve as the primary law enforcement presence in areas where traditional police forces may not be readily available. Trained in law enforcement, emergency response, and community outreach, these officers play a crucial role in maintaining public order, resolving disputes, and providing assistance during emergencies.

In addition to law enforcement duties, Village Public Safety Officers (VPSOs) often serve as mediators, counselors, and educators within their communities. They build trust and foster positive relationships with residents, working closely with local leaders and organizations to address community concerns and promote safety initiatives. VPSOs also play a vital role in promoting public awareness of safety issues, offering educational programs on topics such as domestic violence prevention, substance abuse, and emergency preparedness.

Despite the challenges of operating in remote and often harsh environments, VPSOs are deeply committed to serving their communities with integrity and dedication. Through their tireless efforts and close collaboration with local stakeholders, they contribute to the overall well-being and resilience of the Northwest Arctic Borough villages, ensuring that residents feel safe and supported in their daily lives

To learn more about the Village Public Safety Officer Program, please visit the State of Alaska: VPSO Homepage

Village public safety officers

Cole Thurmond


Jeffrey Petzoldt


Joshua Harville

VPSO Coordinator

Marlin Autaubo