Anchorage Assembly confirms Michael Kerle as new police chief

A portrait of a policeman.
Anchorage Police Chief Michael Kerle stands outside the Anchorage Assembly chambers after he was confirmed on Tuesday. (Wesley Early/Alaska Public Media)

The Anchorage Assembly has approved Michael Kerle as the new Anchorage police chief.

Kerle has served with the Anchorage Police Department since 1996 and was deputy chief under prior the chief, Ken McCoy. 

McCoy announced his resignation suddenly in early December after roughly six months leading the department. He was appointed by Mayor Dave Bronson and was the city’s first Black police chief.

McCoy later announced he’d be taking a position at Providence Alaska, the state’s largest private employer, which includes the state’s largest hospital and various health care facilities. He will work as Providence Alaska’s first chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer

READ MORE: Anchorage Police Chief Ken McCoy says he’ll retire in February

Minutes after Kerle was confirmed on Tuesday, several community members spoke during public testimony, asking for the police department to be more open with its proposed body-worn camera policy. The policy was approved by voters last year. It has drawn criticism in its current form over a lack of wording over the release of camera footage to the public. 

Kerle was approved as part of the Assembly’s consent agenda, and his confirmation was not directly voted on by Assembly members. He did not make any public comments.

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Wesley Early covers Anchorage life and city politics for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at and follow him on X at @wesley_early. Read more about Wesley here.

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