Citing reflection and thoughtful consideration, Anchorage Police Chief Kenneth McCoy announced earlier this evening that he is retiring from the police force effective February 1.
In the 100-year history of the Anchorage Police Department, McCoy was the first Black police chief and had 27 years of service with the department. He is an Army veteran who served in the Alaska Army National Guard for ten years and was the deputy chief of operations for the APD for four years.
In April, McCoy said his appointment was a sign of hope and that he found his appointment very humbling and meaningful for both himself, his family and the community. McCoy also said that his top priority would be to build and earn trust within the city, citing communities of color that had lost confidence in law enforcement nationwide.
In June, the Alaska Black Caucus called McCoy’s appointment as chief a “historical moment,” writing on Facebook that the organization was proud of his accomplishments.
The timing of McCoy’s retirement announcement is being seen as interesting by some — coming just as Mayor Bronson cut the Anchorage Police Department’s budget for the second time in two months.
In addition to McCoy’s abrupt retirement announcement, Gerard Asselin is said to have stepped down from his position as deputy chief and is now the Special Projects Captain. The police department’s website now lists Michael Kerle as APD’s sole deputy chief.
East Anchorage Assembly member Forrest Dunbar responded on Twitter to the news McCoy had retired, writing:
“To review: on the night that the mayor vetoes funding for pre-K, Girdwood EMS, School Resource Officers, Mobile Crisis Team, and building inspectors, while protecting his newly-created middle manager & political appointee positions, we also hear that the APD Chief is retiring.”
Noteworthy is that Dunbar also wrote he had heard Municipal Assessor Jack Gadamus, along with part of his team, was leaving the Bronson Administration.
It’s not clear if there will be a “worldwide search” to replace McCoy. There’s plenty of APD officers in the far-right pro-Bronson Save Anchorage group — perhaps MAGA Mayor Bronson will choose one of them to succeed McCoy.