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Anchorage mayor-elect will keep Ken McCoy as police chief, announces incoming public safety team

Acting Anchorage Police Chief Ken McCoy participates in an interview with Alaska's News Source
Acting Anchorage Police Chief Ken McCoy participates in an interview with Alaska's News Source(Rachel McPherron // Alaska's News Source)
Published: Jun. 8, 2021 at 11:03 AM AKDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 7:10 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage Mayor-elect Dave Bronson has announced his picks to lead the city’s public safety team.

The city’s current acting police chief, Ken McCoy, will stay in his position. Gerard Asselin will soon be the Anchorage Police Department’s deputy police chief of operations. Doug Schrage will be the city’s new fire chief and Patrick Bergt will be the municipal attorney.

Anchorage mayor-elect announces public safety team

Watch live: Anchorage Mayor-elect Dave Bronson is announcing his picks to lead the city’s public safety team.

Posted by Alaska's News Source on Tuesday, June 8, 2021

McCoy, who was appointed to his position by Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson in April, is the first African American police chief in the department’s 100-year history.

McCoy has served in the city police force for nearly three decades. He has worked in the patrol division, detective division and internal affairs. He had served as deputy chief for four years before becoming the acting chief of police.

In a previous interview with Alaska’s News Source, McCoy said his top priorities in his position will be trust and transparency.

“I want to reaffirm my commitment to building trust and transparency in all we do,” McCoy said Tuesday. “I promise that I will always have the best interest of this community at heart with every decision I make.”

Bronson said McCoy emerged from a thorough vetting process as the best choice to lead the department. He recounted their experience applying for positions at APD 27 years ago, saying he ultimately decided to pursue a career in aviation while McCoy joined the force.

“We’re back here full, full circle, trying to serve our community as best we can,” Bronson said.

Bronson has said he plans to mobilize APD officers as part of his plan to address homelessness, but neither he nor McCoy offered specific details on how that will be accomplished.

When asked what the new direction will be for APD, Bronson deferred to McCoy, saying, “I don’t micromanage, I hire the best and I give them the authority to run their departments as they see fit.”

“We will be unveiling some new crime strategies, but that’s to come after I’m sworn in,” McCoy said.

Anchorage Mayor-elect Dave Bronson will keep Ken McCoy as police chief, announces incoming...
Anchorage Mayor-elect Dave Bronson will keep Ken McCoy as police chief, announces incoming public safety team(Daniella Rivera / Alaska's News Source)

Asselin has been with APD for more than 20 years, Bronson said, and most recently served as the captain of the department’s patrol division. He has also previously served as president of the Anchorage Police Department Employees Association.

Schrage has most recently served as the fire chief of the University of Alaska Fire Department in Fairbanks. Before that, he worked for the Anchorage Fire Department for over 25 years, holding many different positions including deputy chief, Bronson said.

“This is a dream come true,” said Schrage, who added he had been planning to move back to Anchorage eventually.

Bergt is a lifelong Alaskan and has over a decade of experience as a licensed attorney, Bronson said, and has previously served as an assistant district attorney in Anchorage. In his private practice, he specialized in civil and criminal litigation.

“Mayor Bronson is committed to making this city an even better place for all of us,” Bergt said. “That starts with upholding the law and a dedication to working with law enforcement to hold offenders accountable for their actions.”

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with additional information and quotes.

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