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Colonel Julia Grimes, Retired


Colonel Julia Grimes served 24 years with the Alaska State Troopers (AST), retiring in December of 2006. After coming through the ranks, she was appointed Director of AST in 2003 and assumed overall command responsibility for an agency comprised of over 400 sworn troopers and over 200 civilian personnel providing full service law enforcement response for the largest state in the union (586,000 square miles)—the majority of it remote and lacking transportation corridors. Before her appointment to Colonel, she served in a wide range of duty assignments (patrol and investigative) that took her all over the rugged state of Alaska, including many years as a Trooper pilot in rural Alaska providing investigative law enforcement response, community policing, and search and rescue to remote native villages accessible only by aircraft. 

Prior to joining AST in 1983, Col. Grimes attended an aviation college and began a career in commercial aviation in 1977. Hired by United Airlines at age 21, she worked as a Boeing 727 Flight Engineer and pilot until January 1982 when a national fuel crisis triggered her furlough from United. She ventured to Alaska in continuing pursuit of her aviation career and secured an air-taxi pilot job in Ketchikan, flying floatplanes into the remote regions of Southeast Alaska.   It was here that Col. Grimes was first exposed to Alaska State Troopers who were her passengers.  Here she was recruited and inspired to become a trooper.


Col. Grimes is the founder of True North Focus, LLC, a consulting firm providing law enforcement training and consulting.  She has been a core trainer for IACP’s “Leading by Legacy” project for four years, and has been an active member of IACP’s Police Administration Committee. Her most challenging work has been a contract with the U.S. State Department as a Senior Police Advisor and Instructor, providing leadership training for the Mexican State and Federal Police in furtherance of the goals of the Merida Initiative between the U.S, and Mexican governments.

She is an active member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), Police Administration Committee and has been a core trainer for IACP’s “Leading by Legacy” project for the last two years.   She has presented leadership related workshop topics at the Annual IACP Conference as well as the Annual Conference of the International Association of Women Police (IAWP).  Col. Grimes is a graduate of the 212th Session of the FBI National Academy and the 27th Session of the FBI National Executive Institute in Quantico, Virginia. Colonel Grimes is a lifetime member and past president of the Women Police of Alaska (WPA), as well as a member of the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE), and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).

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