PALMER — Alaska State Trooper Sergeant Ron Hayes is transitioning to the Lieutenant rank and taking over the role as Deputy Commander of the B Detachment.
“He’s able to look at things from a bigger perspective. When we give him a task we just kinda let him run with it,” Alaska State Trooper Captain/B Detachment commander Tony April said. “He’s just a tenacious guy.”
Hayes officially starts his new position in July. He said that he’s looking forward to this exciting milestone and continuing his career in Alaskan law enforcement spanning over two decades.
“It seems like the next logical step in my progression with the Alaskan State Troopers. So I’m pretty excited,” Hayes said. “This is a great job. I was bit by the bug early on.”
Hayes said that he entered Alaska law enforcement in 1997 and he became a Trooper in 2001. He said that he set out on this path of public service to challenge himself and help others through persistent focus and dedication to the task at hand.
“I like challenges. I just like the ability to come to work and every day is a new day, and I like problem solving so it seemed like a good fit,” Hayes said. “I like being able to see a case from start to finish and being able to help those people. Nothing feels better than returning stolen property to somebody or helping somebody else that needed assistance… A lot of people think this is a thankless career and it really is just the opposite. There’s a lot of people out there that support us.”
Hayes is replacing Lieutenant Ingram as the new Deputy Commander. He said that Ingram is retiring this year, and everyone is going to miss having him around the post.
“Mike and I came up in the ranks together. We worked patrol a lot. He’s a great guy. He’s been a great supervisor. He’s been a great Trooper to work with,” Hayes said.
Hayes said that his goals moving forward with the new position start with simple steps to get a good foothold on the department’s future endeavors and overall efficiency.
“My goal right now is to getting back to basics, making sure we’re doing the things we need to do, whether it’s patrol or an investigation,” Hayes said.
AST statewide is short staffed and the Valley is no exception. Hayes said the sheer size of the area with about five Troopers on average on a typical day is a daunting but conquerable workload they’ve been adapting to for years.
“We’re spread pretty thin right now… We have an area the size of West Virginia we have to cover on a given day just for B Detachment… That’s a lot to deal with, especially for five people. I don’t think people really realize how taxing that can be,” Hayes said. “Quality over quantity, making sure you’re doing what we trained you to do.”
Hayes has served as a training coordinator for the Troopers’ FTO program for several years on top of other mentorship roles throughout his career. He said that he plans to further his efforts to prepare the next generation of Troopers.
“It is a young man’s game and I’m not getting any younger, and this is a way for me to take the years that I’ve got under my belt and be able to pass it on or at least use what I have to the best of my ability… This just seems like a natural progress for me,” Hayes said.
Hayes said that he’s a lifelong Alaskan and making a difference in the community means a lot to him and motivates him to do the best work he can.
“I don’t think that I’m gonna change the world, but I think I can make change. I think I can do my part. I think I’ve had an impact in what I’ve been able to do. My goal right now is to leave the department better than I found it,” Hayes said.
According to April, Hayes has made a substantial impact throughout the community through his work as an Alaskan State Trooper. He said Hayes’ well rounded skills and good qualities as a Trooper make him an ideal candidate for his new position at the Palmer Post.
“Since 2017, when I was reassigned to Palmer Post he was able to run the Criminal Suppression Unit and as a result of that, there were numerous criminal investigations that resulted in prosecution, tens of thousands of dollars of recovered property,” April said. “To recognize this is what a leader needs. He’s open minded but he can also be direct when need be. He can also be nurturing, and has a mentor/counselling demeanor. Those are some of the qualities you look for in future leaders,” April said.
For more information about the Alaska State Trooper B Detachment, visit dps.alaska.gov/AST/BDetachment/Home.
Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at email@example.com