Sgt. Cameron Hayden and Eyak the dog are seen during a training demonstration. Photo by Amanda Williams

Daniel Fiser is one of the officers that hails from the Lower 48 on the local police force. In his time here with the Cordova Police Department, he observed that drugs and alcohol are some of the big influences that have led to crime in Cordova.

“Drugs are actually where your theft comes from, it’s where your burglaries come from,” Fiser told the Cordova Times during a ride-along.

The Cordova Police Department is making moves, however, to mitigate these issues — including the drug bust that occurred earlier this year.

Fiser shared that the officers he works with and himself follow the letter of the law with dignity and treat people as such.

“There is no sort of sub-human treatment. There is no looking down on these people,” he said. “We are people just like you. The only difference between me and the man in the jail is you have decided to make very poor decisions with your life. You may have hopes, dreams and aspirations but got a really crummy way of going about accomplishing those.”

As homelessness is a growing issue in the Lower 48, Fiser shared that Cordova doesn’t really have those instances.


“We don’t really have a huge homeless population. Cordova is not the easiest place to live if you don’t have a job,” said Fiser. “We have a couple people. And again, dignity and respect. Those people have dreams and aspirations.”

He went on to say that these folks seem to just want to have some sort of positive human interaction.

As the busy fishing season approaches, more people will descend temporarily on the small town. With that, the Cordova Police Department sees an uptick in activity.

“We will generally have one or two canneries that keep us quite occupied,” said Fiser.

The officer shared that his desire to work in law enforcement steamed from admiration of his uncle serving on the force and experiencing an outdoor adventure with his family at a national park when he was a kid.

“My parents and I, and my siblings, went to Glacier National Park. We were on a trail and saw a law enforcement park ranger — he had a duty belt on, he is in one of the most spectacular places, one of the most beautiful places on God’s green earth. He’s got a cool duty belt and a gun, I was like ‘How do I get your job?’” said Fiser.

He went on to EMT school before attending the Park Ranger Law Enforcement Academy, noting that this training was “what I always wanted to do and loved.”

After completing the academy, Fiser continued to chase his goals and eventually accepted the position here in Cordova, sharing that he always wanted to go to Alaska.

Fiser shared again that although there are challenging days, the good days far outweigh the bad.

“We have our bad days, but we do have our really good days when this is a phenomenally fulfilling job,” said Fiser.