When Holloway came to the troopers, they were having a hard time filling positions and had fallen behind the Anchorage Police Department in salary, benefits and technology.
Holloway's job was made more difficult when Gov. Sarah Palin fired his boss, Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, the man who hired him.
Monegan's replacement, Chuck Copp, had a short, controversial tenure after accusations of sexual harassment.
“There was this dynamic of a hurricane or a tornado twirling, you know it was swirling, swirling all around. It was enveloping the department at the time,” said Public Safety Commissioner Joe Masters.
As the new public safety commissioner, Masters was relieved to have Holloway's help in keeping the troopers from steering off course.
“I could have my own opinion about things, but I had a job to do. And that job was taking care of this organization, so I put that first,” Holloway said.
Masters says Holloway's efforts to stay focused paid off and that he leaves behind two legacies.
“One of them was his ability to bring his commanders into a way of thinking that was forward-looking,” Masters said.
The other, he says, is creating the Bureau of Highway Patrol, which has helped to reduce accidents on Alaska's most dangerous transportation corridors.
Masters credited Holloway with moving the governor’s plan forward to combat domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as helping to upgrade AST’s electronic records system.
Holloway is known to start work at 5 a.m. and keep going until the evening. And on his very last day on the job, he was busy helping his replacement, Col. Keith Mallard, make the transition.
Holloway says he leaves this job knowing he'll miss his daily contact with troopers across the state, who are among the best law enforcement multi-taskers anywhere.
“You have to be able to do things on your own when you're working in some of these communities, because you can't wait for someone else to come in and dust for fingerprints or take photographs. You've got to do it all,” Holloway said.
In March Holloway will go to Iraq to help train police officers for the State Department.
Holloway says public safety is one of the foundations of democracy.
“If people aren't safe in their homes or don't feel safe, they can't accomplish other things out there. They can't do their job. They can't feel safe that their children are OK to be away from them. They can't concentrate,” he said.
Holloway says the State Department will recruit police officers from around the United States who will take a leave of absence to teach Iraqi police about citizenship and the need for police to work under a set of rules, so they don't become oppressors.
Holloway says he hopes the American officers will return with a renewed appreciation about their role in a democracy.
He thinks his experience with the troopers will help in the Middle East, because of the lack of infrastructure and different cultures that the places have in common.
But also, he says his interaction with tribal leaders have taught him that there are a lot of people in Rural Alaska who want to bring about change, and if you collaborate with them and work hard to understand their positions, it goes a long ways towards solving problems.