AMHS Ride-Along program offers added safety for ferry travelers

Renewal of the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) Ride-Along program will provide increased law enforcement presence on state ferries this summer, state officials say.

The renewed agreement, announced in early March by the Alaska Department of Public Safety and Alaska State Troopers, allows for complimentary ferry travel for state troopers for personal reasons on a space available basis, in exchange for their law enforcement presence and services.

State Transportation Commissioner Ryan Anderson noted that in 2022, the state renewed its support of the drug enforcement K-9 unit in Bellingham, started participating in anti-human trafficking measures, and in 2023 is reviving the Ride-Along program to benefit both AMHS and the troopers.

Public Safety Commissioner James Cockrell said troopers have participated in the Ride-Along program for several years, and it has helped increase the safety of the ferries traversing coastal Alaska.

“We are constantly working with our partners across the state to meet our critical mission of ensuring public safety and enforcing fishing and hunting regulations, and this program is a perfect example of a program that impacts the safety of many Alaskans,” Cockrell said.