POLICE DEPARTMENT OFFICER BIOGRAPHIES
Chief Peter Mlynarik
Peter was hired as the Chief in November 2012. Prior to becoming the Chief, Peter spent over twenty-two years with the Alaska State Troopers. Although he grew up on the Kenai Peninsula, he moved all over the state with the Troopers. He served in Soldotna, Yakutat, Iliamna, Anchorage, King Salmon, and Bethel. He attained the rank of Captain as a detachment commander while with the Troopers. Peter attended the 229th Session of the FBI National Academy in Virginia in 2007. He holds an Advanced Police Certificate with the Alaska Police Standards Council.
Sergeant Duane Kant was hired as a Soldotna Police Officer in
February 1992. Since that time, he has also
served as a Patrol Officer and a Detective. He was promoted to
Sergeant in November of 2006. Sergeant Kant attended the
State of Alaska Law Enforcement Training Academy
in Sitka in 1993. Sergeant Kant is a Certified Field Training
Officer, and Radar Instructor for the Department. He is a
US Army Veteran, having been stationed at Fort
Richardson, Alaska from 1989-1992, and serving as an Engineer
officer. Sergeant Kant is a graduate of the
University of Wisconsin-Platteville and a 2010
graduate of the 240th session of the
FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
Sergeant Stace Escott began working for the Soldotna Police
Department in August 2000. He attended the 24 th session
Alaska Law Enforcement Training Academy in Sitka
Alaska. Sgt. Escott served as a Patrol Officer and
Certified Field Training Officer before leaving the department
in October 2005.
He then moved to Amelia Island Florida and worked as a
Director of Facility Services for Senior Living Communities
where he received the “Director of the Year” award in 2007
among 78 directors. Sgt. Escott was rehired by the
Soldotna Police Department in June 2010. He is a graduate
of BYU Idaho
and Weber State
University where he studied Criminal Justice.
While attending college he also served two internships for the
Salt Lake County Sheriff's Department.
Officer Tobin Brennan began working for the Soldotna
Police Department in June 2000. He was born and
raised in Anchorage. He attended college at
of Alaska, Fairbanks where he earned a
Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice.
During his time at UAF Officer Brennan worked as an
intern for the North Slope Borough Department of
Public Safety. He attended the 21 st session
State of Alaska Law Enforcement Training Academy
located in Sitka Alaska.
After graduating the police academy Officer Brennan
worked for the Statewide Drug Enforcement Unit
before joining the Soldotna Police Department.
Officer Brennan started as a patrol officer and then
was assigned to the Alaska Bureau of Alcohol and
Drug Enforcement from October of 2002 to January or
2005. During that time he attended the Drug
Enforcement Agency's Investigator course, the
Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement School and
numerous other training courses. Officer Brennan is
a Standardized Field Sobriety Test and Datamaster
instructor. He is also the Breath Alcohol
Program Supervisor for the Soldotna Police
Department. Officer Brennan holds an Advanced Police
Certificate with the
Alaska Police Standards Council , and
is a Certified Police Instructor. He is a
member of the
Alaska Peace Officers Association and
formally served as a Kenai Chapter Board member.
Officer Brennan was 2009 recipient of the Department's Community Service Award and is currently assigned to the Patrol Division. Officer Brennan also serves as a Field Training Officer and a Department's Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) Officer.
Officer Mark Berestoff came to the Soldotna Police
Wisconsin in August 2000. Officer
Berestoff received his Associate of Arts degree in
Criminal Justice from
Western Technical College in
LaCrosse Wisconsin and his Bachelor of
Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration from
Mountain State University in Beckley West
Virginia. Officer Berestoff attended the 58th session of
Wisconsin State Police Academy. After
completing his academy training, Officer Berestoff began
his Law Enforcement career with the
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
as the Superintendent of
Mill Bluff State Park and as a
During this time, he also worked as a
Patrol Officer for the cities of Stoddard and Necedah
Police Departments. He worked as a part-time Dispatcher
City of Tomah, Wisconsin and also as a
Deputy Sheriff for the
Juneau County Sheriff's Department. After
two years, Officer Berestoff assumed the Chief of Police
position for the Camp Douglas Police Department. Officer
Berestoff held this position until relocating to Alaska.
Officer Berestoff attended the re-certification program
Alaska Police Training Academy in Sitka
Alaska in January 2001. He is currently certified as a
Firearms Instructor and a Glock Armorer. Officer
Berestoff has served as a drug investigator for the
Western Alaska Alcohol Narcotics Team. Officer Berestoff
is currently assigned to the Patrol Division as a patrol
officer and serves as the Community Services
Officer David Bower came to the Soldotna Police
Libby, Montana in March 2004. He lived in
Alaska in his youth and always wanted to return.
Officer Bower began his Law Enforcement career as a
reserve deputy for the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office
in 1996. He was hired by the
Libby Police Department as a patrolman in
1998, and attended the 107th Session of the
Montana Law Enforcement Academy.
In Libby, Officer Bower received the
following department commendations: Unit Citation,
Combat Action, and Meritorious Unit Commendation for his
distinguished involvement as an initial officer against
an armed adversary in the Wolf Creek Shootout;
Distinguished Volunteer Service Cross; and Good Conduct.
Officer Bower attended the re-certification program at
Department of Public Safety Academy in
Sitka , Alaska in January 2005. Officer Bower is
currently assigned to the Patrol Division for the
Soldotna Police Department.
Officer Espy began his career in law enforcement as an
Explorer with the
Alaska Peace Officer Association,
Explorer Post #460, while attending high school in
Kenai, Alaska. After spending several years with the
volunteer post, Officer Espy went on to work as a
Seasonal Officer for the
Kenai Police Department, assisting with management of the
Kenai River Dipnet Fishery.
In November, 2005, Officer Espy accepted a position as
Correctional Officer for the State of Alaska,
of Corrections, at Spring Creek Correctional Center.
While serving at Spring Creek, Officer Espy advanced to
Prisoner Transportation as well as served on the
Tactical Response Team. In January, 2008, Officer Espy
was hired by the Soldotna Police Department, graduating
State of Alaska's Law Enforcement Academy Training
valedictorian in June, 2008. Officer Espy currently
serves as a patrolman for the Soldotna Police
Officer Derek Urban came to the Soldotna Police Department from Vernal, Utah in July of 2008. Officer Urban began his law enforcement career in 1987 as a Military Police K-9 handler for the United States Marine Corps. After his military service he was hired with the Uintah County Sheriff's Office in Vernal, Utah. There he held many positions including that of a correctional deputy, patrol deputy, S.W.A.T. officer/sniper, and K-9 handler. He left his former department having achieved the rank of Sergeant. Officer Urban has competed in several K-9 and sniper competitions, including an international sniper competition in the country of Austria.
Officer Urban's past service also includes time with the Uintah County Drug Court where he worked as an administrator supervising drug offenders in rehabilitation. Officer Urban is an International Association of Chiefs of Police certified Drug Recognition Expert Instructor as well as a firearms instructor. Officer Urban is currently assigned to the Patrol division of the Soldotna Police Department.
Officer Stephen Clary came to the Soldotna Police Department from Kellogg, Idaho in October 2011.Officer Clary began his Law Enforcement career as a Reserve Officer in his home town of Spirit Lake, Idaho in January 2005. He was hired by the Kellogg Police Department as a patrolman in May 2005, and attended the 148th Session of the Idaho’s Police Officer Standards and Training Academy in October 2005.
Officer Clary attended the re-certification program at the Department of Public Safety in Sitka, Alaska in January 2012. Officer Clary is currently assigned to the Patrol Division for the Soldotna Police Department.
Officer Michelle Wicker
Officer Michelle Wicker was hired by the Soldotna Police Department in January 2012. Officer Wicker worked for the University Police Department as a Seawolf Safety Patrol Officer while attending the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). In December 2008, Officer Wicker graduated with honors from UAA with a Bachelor’s degree in Justice and a minor in Psychology.
She graduated from the State of Alaska’s Law Enforcement Academy Training #1201, as valedictorian in June, 2012. Officer Wicker is currently assigned to the patrol division at the Soldotna Police Department.
Officer Justin Swangel
Officer Justin Swangel was hired by the Soldotna Police Department in July 2012. Officer Swangel worked for Unalaska Department of Public Safety from October 2010 until June 2012 as a patrol officer. Officer Swangel also served in the Oregon Army National Guard from December 1993 until April 2003.
He graduated from the Fairbanks Police Academy session #20 in May 2011. Officer Swangel is currently assigned to the patrol division at the Soldotna Police Department.
Officer Mitchell Burdick
Officer Mitchell Burdick was hired as a Soldotna Police Officer in July 2013. He was born and raised in Soldotna, AK and graduated from Skyview High school in May of 2003. In November of 2007, Officer Burdick joined the U.S. Navy. During that time, he was stationed at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, and served as a Naval Air crewman 2nd Class Petty Officer in the Helicopter mine countermeasures squadron 15. During his tour of duty Officer Burdick received a Meritorious Unit Commendation, Navy Good Conduct Medal, Navy Battle “E” Ribbon, and National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He also received the Aircrew Student Academic Achievement Award.
Susan Linn was hired as a part time clerk by the Soldotna Police Department on June 6, 2003. In July 2004, Sue became a fulltime administrative clerk, and in November of 2005, she was hired as the department’s administrative assistant to the Chief of Police. In addition to those duties, in April of 2005 she became the civilian evidence custodian.
Sue was born in Tacoma, Washington, and was raised mostly in Tacoma, but as a military brat, she also lived in Anchorage, AK, Lompoc, CA, and Wiesbaden, Germany. She attended Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA where she earned her BA in English Language and Literature. Before moving to Soldotna in 2002, Sue lived in Unalaska where she worked in the Unalaska City School District as an instructional aide from 1990 – 1995. In 1995 she was hired by the State of Alaska and worked as a Fish and Wildlife Technician until she moved to Soldotna in 2005.
Samantha Bower was hired by the Soldotna Police Department as a Police Clerk I in June of 2008. She is a lifelong Alaska resident and was born and raised in the Soldotna area. Samantha completed the Associate of Arts program at Kenai Peninsula College in May of 2010, graduating as valedictorian of her class. She was promoted to Police Clerk II in June of 2012. Samantha currently serves as Secretary of the Public Safety Employees Association at the Soldotna Police Department and Treasurer of the Alaska Peace Officers Association, Kenai Peninsula chapter.
Monday-Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm
Monday-Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm
24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Soldotna Police Department
44510 Sterling Highway
Soldotna, AK 99669