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Anchorage Police Chief Ken McCoy will work to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in Providence

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A black man in a police uniform smiles at an Alaska and U.S. flag
Police Chief Kenneth McCoy will step down on February 1, 2022 and take over as Providence Alaska’s first officer of diversity, equity and inclusion. (Abbey Collins / Alaska Public Media)

Anchorage Police Chief Ken McCoy is taking on a new job as the first Chief of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer in Providence Alaska.

Providence announced the hiring of McCoy in a statement Wednesday, just over a month after McCoy abruptly announced his retirement from the police department without any explanation. His last day as chief of police is February 1st.

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

McCoy, who was born and raised in Anchorage, was appointed acting police chief last spring under incumbent 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.

However, just a few months after starting work, McCoy announced that he would leave the administration on February 1 after 27 years working in the ODA. He gave no reason at the time, but said his decision came after “a lot of thought and thoughtful consideration”.

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

“Ken brings to this role an advanced leadership history with a gift for discovering and shaping talent and motivating inclusive and equitable teams,” he said in a statement from Providence on Wednesday.

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

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

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

McCoy will begin his new post on February 14th.

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