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Mayor Bronson selects Deputy Chief Michael Kerle to serve as next Anchorage police chief

Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 5:40 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - One week after Anchorage Police Chief Ken McCoy announced he will retire early next year, Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson has announced his replacement.

During his mayoral comments at the beginning of Tuesday’s regular Anchorage Assembly meeting, Bronson said the administration has selected current Deputy Chief Michael Kerle to serve as the next chief of police.

“Chief Kerle has been with the department for … 25 years and I’m confident in his ability to lead the Anchorage Police Department,” Bronson said.

Kerle began his career with the Anchorage Police Department in 1996, according to the city, and was promoted to the role of deputy chief in February 2020. Through his career, he has held multiple positions in the department’s patrol division, special operations and crime suppression.

The announcement comes seven days after McCoy announced he will retire from the police department effective Feb. 1, 2022. Bronson said Tuesday night that Kerle will become police chief effective the next day, Feb. 2.

McCoy, who has not cited a reason for his retirement after 27 years with Anchorage’s police force, was tapped by Bronson to be Anchorage’s top cop in June. He will be leaving the department after less than one year as chief.

Local activists and the Anchorage Police Department Employees Association expressed surprise at the announcement of McCoy’s departure, with Alaska Black Caucus President Celeste Hodge Growden saying he was a sign of hope for the community.

McCoy had made history as the first Black chief of police in the department’s 100-year history.

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