Heinbaugh brings years of experience to wildlife trooper post

Joshua Heinbaugh, sergeant of the Alaska Wildlife Troopers of the Cordova post, at his office in Cordova on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019. (Photo by Emily Mesner/The Cordova Times)

Veteran law enforcement officer Joshua Heinbaugh, hired at the beginning of the year as an Alaska Wildlife Troopers sergeant, says he hopes to improve the community’s understanding and trust of that post in Cordova.

Originally from the East Coast, Heinbaugh grew up in Glennallen and has years of experience in both state patrol and wildlife enforcement.

He was hired as an Alaska State Trooper when he was 22 and spent two years in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, then a year on the statewide traffic team, before a 12-year stint out of Glennallen in law and wildlife enforcement.

The Cordova post of AWT is responsible for the eastern part of Prince William Sound and anything outside of city limits. Heinbaugh will also supervise Valdez.

“I think with law enforcement there’s always that balance of being a part of the community, but you’re always enforcing the laws,” Heinbaugh said. “I understand these small towns, I understand these fishing communities.”

Growing up surrounded by hunting and subsistence lifestyles, Heinbaugh understands both the user and law enforcement side of things.


“We’re here to protect the resources for all of us,” he said. “It’s not just for the state, it’s for the people here too. I want people to feel comfortable coming to us with their concerns.”

Having spent most of his career and life working in the interior, Heinbaugh said he is looking forward to being in Cordova and spending time near the water.

The Cordova post includes one supervisor, two troopers, one full time and one seasonal public safety technician. They have not been fully staffed for the Sound for nearly one year.

Beginning in May, Trooper Laura Reid will be stationed in Cordova. With her addition, they will be fully staffed again.