Troopers Arrest Tonsina Village Public Safety Officer

Tonsina Public Safety Officer Arrested By Troopers For Sexual Abuse Of A Minor  Kyle Justus, a Copper Valley Village Public Safety Officer (...

Tonsina Public Safety Officer Arrested By Troopers For Sexual Abuse Of A Minor 


Kyle Justus, a Copper Valley Village Public Safety Officer (VPSO) was arrested on Monday, June 6th for allegedly sexually abusing a minor. 

Village Public Safety Officers are not State Troopers, although they do have many Trooper-related duties. The VPSO program (according to its official Public Safety website) is a Department of Public Safety Program for rural Alaskan communities which was founded in 1979 and funded by the state. Its purpose is to provide a more immediate response for rural areas. VPSOs "work with other public safety professionals" including State Troopers, and provide emergency medical response, search and rescue, public safety training, disaster relief and fire prevention. 

In the Copper Valley, the VPSO program is administered by the Copper River Native Association. According to the CRNA website, there are VPSOs in 7 Ahtna region communities – Chitina, Kluti-Kaah, Tazlina, Gulkana, Gakona, Chistochina and Mentasta.  According to the CRNA website, local VPSOs provide EMS services, fire protection search and rescue coordination, probation and parole monitoring and criminal investigations. VPSOs also provide public safety education classes including hunter information and training, water and boating safety, drug recognition and education and active shooter response, the CRNA website says. The CRNA site names the 7 sworn peace officers in the program. (Justus' last name is apparently misspelled on the site as 'Justice'.) 

According to the Alaska State Troopers, in regard to VPSO Kyle Justus' arrest: 

On June 6, 2021, at approximately 2300 hours, Alaska State Troopers were notified of a possible Sexual Abuse of a Minor incident in Tonsina. It was reported that 27-year-old Tonsina resident Kyle Justus had a sexual relationship with a juvenile in the community. Justus is employed as a VPSO in Tonsina, the alleged relationship is reported to have occurred while Justus was off-duty. Investigators from the Trooper’s Palmer General Investigative Unit responded and conducted a thorough investigation.  On June 7, 2021, at approximately 1645 hours, Justus was arrested for Sexual Abuse of a Minor in the Second Degree and remanded at the Mat-Su Pretrial Facility in Palmer. The Alaska Office of Special Prosecution was consulted about the incident.

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