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Alaskan Village Safety Officer Shot, Killed

March 20, 2013  | 

Photo courtesy of Alaska State Troopers.
Photo courtesy of Alaska State Troopers.

A village public safety officer (VPSO) in Alaska was shot and killed as he attempted to flee from a suspect who gunned him down with a Ruger Mini-14 rifle.

Thomas Madole, 54, was found dead late Tuesday outside the residence of Leroy Dick, 42, in the western Alaska community of Manokotak. Dick was suicidal and had assaulted his step-father. Dick has been charged with first-degree murder, reports the Anchorage Daily News.

In Dillingham court on Wednesday, Dick refused counsel, but Dillingham Public Defender Chris Lesh was appointed to defend Dick. Dick told the judge,  "To be honest, I could say that I'm guilty of the crime." Dick's bail was set at $1 million, reports Alaska Native News.

Comments (7)

Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

Morning Eagle @ 3/21/2013 7:26 PM

Sad news for the brave VPSO's that live and serve in those isolated villages. The state trains them but will not allow them to carry firearms even though a large percentage of the folks they have to deal with do possess firearms for subsistence hunting and protection from Alaska's four legged and two legged predators. Many of the troubled people they have to deal with are under the influence of alcohol which increases the volatility of any situation as you all well know. Something like this was almost inevitable sooner or later. Will the state review or change its policy after this senseless killing? Guess we will see. Rest in Peace VPSO Madole.

Louie Mangrobang @ 3/21/2013 8:06 PM

Rest in peace Ofc Madole. We thank you for your great and unselfish service. Unfortunately, you and other VPSOs could not be trained and be armed so your agency would not have to pay you a few dollars more, considering the community you serve practices their rights to own firearms.

Firecop @ 3/22/2013 4:47 AM

Yes this does seem kind of dumb...almost Canadian. Ask a person to dress like a cop, act like a cop, and have duties like a cop, dealing with armed drunks, but don't allow him the opportunity to defend himself when deadly force is an issue. Whoever put this out of date policy together needs to initiate a re-write. RIP Officer Madole, you did what many others would not do when asked.

Juan 10-13 @ 3/22/2013 9:38 AM

Rest in peace my brother! I feel every loss we give up to the BIG GUY....especially at the hands of a MUTT! I pray that in today's day and age some one will grow cohones and deal with the issues at hand in the court rooms and especially within the administration and governing officials. I'll make the first suggestion for every Judge/elected official or government administrator to patrol/live and serve for six months as a requisite of their term in one of these isolated villages. I strongly believe the issue of whether to arm will miraculously disappear. Too sad. Peace my brothers and stay safe always!

Larry @ 3/22/2013 1:06 PM

You are right that it is ludicrous that VPSO get 3/4 of an academy but are not allowed to carry a firearm. However , the issue is a little more complex than thought. The State has discussed making them POST certified and they would be certified peace officers but the tribes have resisted, wanting the VPSO's to enforce tribal law, not state law. However the VPSO's currently enforce state law also so I don't get the issue, meanwhile a family grieves.

RoadCopper @ 3/22/2013 5:29 PM

<Firecop> - Coming form a Cdn LEO, I take exception to your "almost Canadian" comment. We are just a well and even better trained and equipped than some of our American brothers and sisters in blue. And having experience working in remote First Nations communities, where I worked the FN Officers were armed and trained just the same as me.
Praise our fallen brother - RIP VPSO Madole - for doing what he did, don't criticize something you may nothing about until you have walked in our boots and on our beat.

Trigger @ 3/25/2013 4:45 AM

Rest in peace Brother Madole, I pray that the Good Lord is holding you close.

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