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Our Stories

Our Stories

Anne Sears

Investigator – Fairbanks, Alaska

Protecting society’s most vulnerable.

Anne Sears

Investigator — Fairbanks, Alaska

When Alaska State Trooper Anne Sears was at the Galena airport in 2003, a friend traveling to a village to give a talk on sex education asked Sears if there was anything she wanted her to share with the kids she was speaking to. 

“I’d like you to say something about inappropriate touching,” Sears told her, and in so doing she changed one boy’s life forever. The evening after the talk, the boy, then nine or ten, went home to tell his mother he was being molested by a cousin. Sears became involved in the investigation, and the boy bravely helped her catch his abuser. A year later, he helped catch another molester who had targeted his sister.

Investigating child abuse and sexual assaults would take their toll on anyone, but Sears finds strength in how her work empowers others. “Somebody’s got to do it. It might as well be me. I have the will to take on their tragedy.”

Sears’s commitment to public service started with one striking moment. Sitting in a restaurant, waiting for a ferry, she watched a young Native man with disabilities walking down the street. Sears, who is half Native herself, realized in that moment she wanted to do work to help her people.

A few years later she was working for the Juneau police department and soon realized “I had found my niche -- that’s how I was going to help my people.”

In her years in law enforcement, she has worked all over Alaska, from the rural villages she loves to visit to the larger cities, where she finds real reward working in tandem with other agencies to do her job.

Sears sees the ugliest side of society in her work. “You hear about all the horrible things people do,” she says. “It’s exhausting.” But through it all, she knows what her work means to the people she serves, and she never quits protecting them.

“I can’t imagine doing anything else.”