In the mid 1800’s, the law enforcement authorities in the far north were the United States Army and Navy. In 1884, U.S. Marshals were placed in charge, but they were too few in number to be an effective agency. The Gold Rush period beginning around 1896 in Nome and Skagway brought lawlessness, and the need for an additional law enforcement agency became evident. For whatever reasons, the Marshals continued to bear the burden of responsibility for the next forty years.
The 15th Territorial Legislature in 1941 established the Territory of Alaska, and the Highway Patrol was created to solely enforce traffic code. The new organization did not have police authority, but by 1945 criminal activity was thriving outside of the jurisdiction of local police, and authority was...
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