"Joe Masters brings more than two decades of Alaska law enforcement experience to the Department of Public Safety," Gov. Sarah Palin said. "Both the department and all Alaskans will be well-served by his professionalism and knowledge of all facets of the organization."
Masters replaces former safety commissioner Walt Monegan, whose firing months ago sparked the "Troopergate" investigation. Monegan has claimed he was pressured by members of the Palin administration to fire trooper Mike Wooten, Palin's former brother-in-law.
Masters, 44, of Anchorage, has 24 years of public safety experience. He has more than 20 years of service with the Department of Public Safety in various roles including supervising trooper recruitment and training. Masters served as deputy director of the Alaska State Troopers from June 2003 through May 2005. Prior to his service with the Troopers, Masters was a commander in Fish & Wildlife Protection.
"It is an honor to be entrusted with this responsibility by Governor Palin and I look forward to working with the Department of Public Safety, and in cooperation with other departments, in a continual quest for improved delivery of services," Masters said. "The members of the department are hardworking and dedicated to the protection of the citizens of Alaska and I am equally honored to provide direction and leadership to these everyday heroes."
Masters is a 1986 graduate of the Alaska State Trooper Academy. He serves on the board of directors for the Alaska Native Justice Center, the Fraternal Order of Alaska State Troopers and other organizations, and serves on working groups of the Alaska Rural Justice Commission. He lives in Anchorage with his wife Michelle and their three children.