Anchorage Police Chief Ken McCoy to take job promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion at Providence

A black man in a police unifom smilse in front of an alaska and US flag
Police Chief Kenneth McCoy is stepping down from his role on Feb. 1, 2022, and will take over as Providence Alaska’s first diversity, equity and inclusion officer. (Abbey Collins/Alaska Public Media)

Anchorage Police Chief Ken McCoy is taking a new job as Providence Alaska’s first chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer.

Providence announced McCoy’s hiring in a statement Wednesday, just over a month after McCoy abruptly announced his retirement from the police department with no explanation. His last day as police chief is Feb. 1. 

McCoy will help Providence — the state’s largest private employer — promote culturally competent care as well as diversity and inclusion for staff, according to Providence’s statement. 

McCoy, who was born and raised in Anchorage, was named acting police chief last spring under then-acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson. When Mayor Bronson took office in July, he made McCoy’s job permanent. McCoy is the city’s first Black police chief.

Just a few months into the job, however, McCoy announced he’d be leaving the administration on Feb. 1 after 27 years working for APD. He didn’t give a reason at the time, but said his decision came after “much reflection and thoughtful consideration.”’

Preston Simmons, chief executive officer of Providence Alaska, praised McCoy’s service to the Anchorage community.

“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,” he said in Providence’s statement on Wednesday.

McCoy said in the statement that after serving the public for nearly three decades, “it was important for me to continue to make an impact in our community.”

“Joining Providence allows me to continue my work guiding teams and organizations with diplomacy, dignity and fairness,” he said.

According to Providence, 38% of its staff identify as people of color.

McCoy will start his new position on Feb. 14.

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Lex Treinen covers culture, homelessness, politics and corrections for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at ltreinen@alaskapublic.org.

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