Captain Maurice Hughes promoted to Colonel of the Alaska State Troopers
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Within the Department of Public Safety a historic promotion has been made.
On Wednesday, August 31, the State of Alaska announced two leadership changes to the Department of Public Safety. Captain Maurice Hughes was promoted to Colonel of the Alaska State Troopers and Bryan Barlow took over Leon Morgan’s role as Deputy Commissioner after Morgan announced his retirement. The department changes went into effect on September 1, 2022.
This is a historic promotion for the Alaska Division of Public Safety, making Maurice Hughes the first African-American Colonel in the department.
“I think it speaks volumes to the department,” Hughes said. “I think it speaks volumes to the diversity within the department and I’m proud to be here.”
Colonel Hughes has served with the Alaska State Troopers for over thirty two years. Additionally he is a veteran of the Coast Guard and has worked in multiple communities across Alaska to include Kodiak, Delta Junction, and Soldotna.
“I’ve kind of traveled around during my time in the Coast Guard, ended up wanting to come to Alaska,” Hughes said. “Got here, never wanted to leave, so I’ve been here since then.”
According to Hughes, thirty six African-Americans have worked for the department since its establishment, with eleven still currently active.
“Of those eleven, I think we have two sergeants, two lieutenants, and I think two captains and myself,” Hughes stated.
“I want to thank Commissioner Cockrell for his faith and confidence in me to move the department forward. Being the first African-American Alaska State Trooper Colonel, it’s an honor and I am humbled at the appointment,” added Hughes.
Hughes is looking forward to addressing important issues within the department, to include murdered and missing Indigenous peoples and body-worn cameras.
“As I step into these things, my goal is just to try to help push those things forward and keep them moving progressively forward,” Hughes said. “I’m working with (the command staff) from a different perspective now, but I’d like to get in, see how things are going, see what I can help with.”
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