Court Services Officer Curtis Worland dies during muskox attack

Alaska State Troopers Court Services Officer Curtis Worland was tragically killed today (December 13, 2022) – during a muskox attack near Nome. CSO Worland was attempting to haze a group of muskox from near a dog kennel at his home when one of the muskox attacked him. CSO Worland was sadly declared deceased at the scene.

At around 12:30 pm on December 13, 2022, Nome-based Alaska State Troopers were notified by a citizen that CSO Curtis Worland was located near his property on the Teller Highway with a serious injury. Troopers from the Nome post and Nome Volunteer Fire Fighters responded to the scene. When the first Trooper arrived, he located CSO Worland deceased with a significant wound to his leg. Further investigation by first responders revealed that CSO Worland was alone operating a personally owned snowmachine while attempting to haze a group of muskoxen from the area near his dog lot. At some point, a muskox attacked CSO Worland, and the muskox’s horns produced a fatal injury. During the attack, CSO Worland discharged his duty weapon, a Glock 22 40 caliber handgun, multiple times.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game in coordination with the Alaska Wildlife Troopers have determined that the muskox that attacked CSO Worland is a public safety threat to the community, and it will be dispatched once located. Efforts to find the muskox are ongoing with Alaska Wildlife Troopers and Alaska Department of Fish and Game personnel.

“Curtis proudly wore the Court Services Officer uniform and honorably served the people of Alaska for 13 years. He was a proud member of the Nome community and a dedicated member of the Alaska law enforcement family,” said Alaska Department of Public Safety Commissioner James Cockrell. “I hope that Alaskans will keep Curtis’ family, friends, loved ones, and the Alaska State Troopers in your thoughts as we process this tragic loss for our state. He will be sorely missed by the DPS family.”

CSO Worland has been serving the people of Alaska as a Court Services Officer since December 2009. He has worked at the Nome Alaska State Trooper post during his entire career.

The Alaska Department of Public Safety and the family of fallen Court Services Officer Curtis Worland would like to thank all of the Alaskans from Nome to Anchorage that participated in the memorial processions in Nome and Anchorage earlier this week to honor CSO Worland. The family would also like to specifically thank the residents of Nome and surrounding communities for the support that they have provided to them this week.

CSO Worland’s remains were released by the State Medical Examiner’s Office today (Dec. 16th, 2022) and transferred to an Anchorage area funeral home. There are no public memorials planned for CSO Worland in the Anchorage area. A celebration of life will take place in Nome in early January, and additional information will be announced when it becomes available.

On December 15, 2022, the Alaska Wildlife Troopers and Alaska Department of Fish and Game located the suspected muskox involved in the death of CSO Worland earlier this week. Based on the actions of the muskox ADF&G and AWT determined the muskox may present a threat to the community. The muskox was dispatched by an Alaska Wildlife Trooper at around 1 pm, approximately one mile away from the location of the encounter with CSO Worland. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game will conduct a necropsy on the muskox.

Muskox attacks on humans are incredibly rare in Alaska; however, they are known to attack dogs. This is the first fatal muskox attack in the Nome area that Troopers are aware of.

CSO Worland’s death has been determined to be a line-of-duty death, as he was on a paid break when he was killed. CSOs, like Troopers, are required to be available to respond to emergencies should they arise while they are on their paid break time. He is the first Court Services Officer in Alaska to die while on duty and is the 69th Alaska law enforcement officer to die in the line of duty.