Even though he resides in Alaska, Chad Goeden still visits his family in Wadena every chance he gets. His grandparents are Ruby and the late Dale Lynk. His mom, Janice Lynk, was raised in Wadena and married Tom Goeden from Staples. The Goedens live in Colorado. During his childhood, Chad would come to Wadena every summer, and it was during one of his visits he was reading the Wadena Pioneer Journal, more specifically, the “Ask a Trooper” article. That article, along with a criminal justice class that Chad had taken in college, helped determine the direction of what he wanted to do with his life.
I spent some time with Chad and his family recently and was intrigued on how he has gotten to the top of his field as Commander of the Public Safety Training Academy in Sitka, Alaska, where he oversees law enforcement training and Village Public Safety. There are typically over 110 graduates per year. Alaska has become a popular destination for reality and other types of television shows. Chad has appeared on the National Geographic show about Alaska a few times. He said the reason Alaska draws this sort of attention is the size of the state and the challenges that the vast elements of the land produce.
"You have 750,000 residents in Alaska, a state that is larger than Texas, California and Montana combined” Chad said.
What is fascinating about Chad's journey in Alaska is that it never really should have happened! After he graduated from high school in Colorado, he was all set to attend the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. There was a mishap on the military's side with his blood work. This caused a delay and he was not able to attend the academy as planned. A little down, but not out, Chad looked at alternatives and saw an opportunity in Fairbanks, Alaska, where he attended the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. From this point, Chad stayed in Alaska to embrace other opportunities including state trooper training and city managing. Then he became Chief of Police in Tanana, Alaska which is a very remote town of 250 people that people need to fly into. That position was more like a baptism by fire. As the only officer in town, his duties included not only enforcing the laws, but he also had to help write and pass the local ordinances, and offer guides for sentencing when the people were convicted.
Chad was recruited to the Alaska Troopers in 1996 and has risen through the ranks the past 17 years overseeing 100 percent of all training as Commander of the Public Safety Training Academy.
Chad was so determined to know all of the ins and outs of law enforcement that he took jobs to serve as his own personal training that few people would think of doing. He got a job as a pizza delivery driver, not just to deliver pizzas, but learn the lay of the land and become familiar with all areas of Fairbanks. He also became a bartender, not just to serve drinks, but to be around people who drank too much and how to talk to them and handle situations. As you might have guessed, he also spent several years writing his own Ask A Trooper article!
To learn more about Chad and the Alaska State Troopers, visit www.alaskastatetrooper.com.