Anchorage police chief named diversity, inclusion officer at Providence Alaska

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 3:35 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Providence Alaska, which runs the largest hospital in the state, announced on Wednesday that Anchorage’s chief of police, Ken McCoy, has been named as its first region chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer. McCoy is set to retire from the police department on Feb. 1.

McCoy will begin in his role at Providence Alaska effective Feb. 14, the organization said in a press release. He’ll be responsible for efforts promoting “culturally competent, patient-centered care” along with inclusion and diversity among Providence Alaska’s workforce.

“Ken brings to this role a track record of forward-thinking leadership with a gift for discovering and molding talent and motivating inclusive, equitable teams,” Preston M. Simmons, Providence Alaska CEO, is quoted as saying in the press release.

According to the release, part of McCoy’s job will be to identify, develop and maintain relationships to “integrate diversity and inclusion with health initiatives that advance health status,” as well as access and awareness in the community.

Providence Alaska is part of a larger nonprofit organization which runs hospitals and care centers in multiple states.

“After serving the public for nearly three decades, it was important for me to continue to make an impact in our community,” McCoy is quoted as saying in the release. “Joining Providence allows me to continue my work guiding teams and organizations with diplomacy, dignity and fairness.”

McCoy announced in November that he was retiring as Anchorage’s police chief effective Feb. 1. McCoy had served the department for 27 years, and was appointed as acting chief by then-Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson last April. He made history as Anchorage’s first Black chief of police in the department’s 100-year history.

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.

“It’s been an honor and privilege of a lifetime,” McCoy said at the time of his 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 early December, Bronson announced that current Deputy Chief Michael Kerle will replace McCoy as the next chief of police.

Members of the community, including the Anchorage Police Department Employees Association, expressed surprise at the announcement that McCoy would be leaving the police department after less than a year serving as its chief.

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