The name and memory of U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer Kristine Fairbanks has a lot of meaning for the Forest Service law enforcement community and especially to the Pacific Northwest and Alaska regions of the agency.
Last year, the Forest Service Alaska Region Law Enforcement and Investigations office initiated the construction of a new patrol vessel (PV) that would serve law enforcement and other Forest Service missions as one of two patrol vessels in Prince William Sound — which borders a large portion of the 5.4 million acre Chugach National Forest.
During the construction of the new boat, the officers stationed in Cordova were tasked with giving it a name. After discussions with the Pacific Northwest Region and the Fairbanks family, the boat was officially titled the PV Kristine Fairbanks. The new vessel was recently placed into service and is based in Cordova.
The PV Kristine Fairbanks was designed and built by Bay Weld Boats, a locally owned and operated family business in Homer, Alaska. It was designed to meet the specific needs of extended patrols with a capacity to carry heavy loads and sleep up to four people while allowing officers to safely carry equipment, passengers and prisoners.
Importantly, it gives officers the ability to more efficiently patrol a shoreline of over 3,500 miles that includes 15 recreational use cabins, numerous guide and outfitter camps, and other recreational hotspots.
The vessel’s electronics equipment includes the latest in technological advances that will assist in safer navigation. The innovative drop bow design allows for safe shore access when checking operations on shore.
The PV Kristine Fairbanks will be a great asset that will help continue building lasting relationships between Chugach National Forest law enforcement personnel and the cooperators and communities around Prince William Sound. Certainly, Officer Fairbanks will be remembered by all who encounter the vessel on its patrols.