BSNC congratulates shareholder Brian Wassmann, originally from Nome, on receiving the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) Glenn Godfrey Law Enforcement Award. This award recognizes an Alaska Native law enforcement officer, federal, state, or local, who has shown outstanding dedication to the safety of the public in any location(s) within Alaska, often requiring heroic courage in the face of danger. Wassmann was nominated by BSNC and recognized at the 2022 AFN Convention this week.
Between 1987 and 1991, Wassmann attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). In 1993, he achieved his long-held goal and dream of becoming an Alaska State Trooper (AST). He enjoyed a robust career with a variety of assignments and locations including Fairbanks, Bethel, Nenana, Delta Junction and Anchorage. He also served temporary duty assignments in St. Mary’s and Emmonak and had the privilege of traveling extensively throughout Alaska.
While stationed in Bethel in the mid-1990s, Wassmann was the oversight trooper to Village Public Safety Officers (VPSO) in five villages. He worked closely with VPSOs and Village Police Officers (VPOs) to assist their communities. During that time, community policing became a primary focus of Alaska State Troopers in rural Alaska. He collaborated with village councils and tribal councils to identify and partner to address community issues that led to crime.
As a young trooper, Wassmann was selected to become a certified instructor in Domestic Violence Investigations. He served as a guest instructor at the Public Safety Academy in Sitka and taught at annual VPSO conferences in the YK-Delta and VPO academies in Bristol Bay. Seeing the high domestic violence rates and effects on families in rural Alaska, Wassmann became very victim-focused in his approach to law enforcement and keeping victims safe. He helped train other officers and troopers to conduct and document thorough investigations to help hold batterers accountable in the legal system. He reviewed cases closely and worked with other agencies to try to keep victims safe by keeping in close contact and holding a very high standard of service by troopers. He also worked very closely with victim advocates at the Tundra Women’s Coalition to support domestic violence and sexual assault victims. He continued the same efforts as a trooper and sergeant in Nenana, Delta Junction and as a supervisor in the Fairbanks Rural Unit.
Wassmann was recognized by the Department of Public Safety as the Bethel Post “Trooper of the Year” in 1998, and the “D Detachment Trooper of the Year” in 2007. He was awarded other commendations for honorable service, largely for trooper work in rural communities in Western and Interior Alaska. During the last seven years (2015-2022) as a state trooper, Wassmann served as a Lieutenant-Deputy Detachment Commander. As a commander in Fairbanks, he oversaw patrol, dispatch, and was the team leader for the Northern Special Emergency Reaction Team, where he often led troopers’ response to dangerous critical incidents involving armed and violent offenders.
In 2020, Wassmann served as the Deputy Commander overseeing rural law enforcement and AST activities in remote and highway communities of interior Alaska. He also led the Judicial Services unit in Fairbanks.
As a leader, Wassmann was a strong advocate for getting troopers to interact with community members as much as possible in positive situations outside of law enforcement. He supported restorative justice and attended Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) listening sessions and reviewed cold missing person’s cases to assist with furthering investigations.
Between 2021 and 2022, Wassmann was the Deputy Commander for the Alaska Bureau of Investigation in Anchorage. He led major crimes investigative units in Anchorage, Palmer, Soldotna and Fairbanks. The units were responsible for investigating homicides, felony assaults, sexual assaults, sexual exploitation of minors and other complex felony cases. Wassmann was an active member of the National Tactical Officer’s Association, the FBI- National Academy Associates, the Alaska Peace Officers Association and the Fraternal Order of Alaska State Troopers for many years. Brian retired from the Alaska State Troopers after nearly 29 years of service on June 1, 2022.
Wassmann’s parents are Wendell and the late Suzanne (Fagerstrom) Wassmann and his maternal grandparents are the late Charles and Helen (Johnson) Fagerstrom from Golovin and Council. He is the proud father of four adult children. His children are Brianne, Kenedie, Chandler and Caden. Wassmann and his wife Kathie have been happily married for years.