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Anchorage Police Chief Ken McCoy will retire next year

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 6:13 PM AKST|Updated: Nov. 30, 2021 at 6:45 PM AKST

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage Police Chief Ken McCoy, who has served as the city’s top cop for less than a year, has announced he will retire early next year.

McCoy, who was appointed as Anchorage’s first Black chief of police earlier this year, announced his retirement in an online community alert from the Anchorage Police Department on Tuesday evening. He will retire effective Feb. 1, 2022.

“I could not have achieved success on my own, it’s always been a team effort and I’ve been blessed to work alongside some of the finest professionals in law enforcement,” McCoy wrote in the release. “As I close this chapter, I’m overcome with pride for this department and what we’ve accomplished together.”

In his 27 years of service to the city, McCoy has served in several positions at the police department, including deputy chief before he was appointed acting chief by then-Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson in April. Mayor Dave Bronson announced in June he would keep McCoy on in the police department’s top spot, and McCoy was confirmed by the Anchorage Assembly in July.

McCoy replaced outgoing Police Chief Justin Doll.

When he was initially appointed, McCoy said he was committed to having community conversations about transparency and issues like systemic racism within policing. He said he had a goal of increasing department-wide training for Anchorage officers.

In the months since then, McCoy has led the department while it developed a policy to govern the use of body-worn cameras, an addition approved by Anchorage voters in April. The department has been working to sort out legal requirements when it comes to public access to camera footage, while the public and advocates have been calling for greater transparency to be worked into the policy.

“It’s been an honor and privilege of a lifetime,” McCoy said of serving a police chief in Tuesday’s announcement. “I want to personally thank the citizens of Anchorage for the outpouring support and encouragement during my 27 years of service to the city of Anchorage.”

In a response to Alaska’s News Source, a police department spokesperson said McCoy is declining interviews “and has no further comment.”

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

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