Unalaska hires new police chief, 10 months after former chief’s resignation

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Kim Hankins was sworn in as Unalaska’s new chief of police Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023. He moved to the Aleutians from Illinois, where he spent about 40 years in law enforcement. (From City of Unalaska)

The City of Unalaska swore in a new police chief Tuesday evening, about 10 months after the previous chief resigned.

Kim Hankins arrived in Unalaska Monday to take the police department’s head leadership position. He moved to the Aleutians from Illinois, where he spent about 40 years with a police department in Moline, a city of about 40,000 people. His last seven years with the department were as chief, before moving into a managerial role with a multi-agency dispatch center serving the surrounding metro area of nearly half a million people.

Local news outlets report Hankins won many awards during his time with the force, and he was recognized by the state of Illinois for his dedication to narcotics law enforcement.

Hankins also completed the FBI National Academy, a 10-week course aimed at raising standards for law enforcement personnel.

Unalaska’s former police chief, Jay King, similarly completed the FBI National Academy during his time as Unalaska’s chief.

King resigned in December 2022, following the settlement of four lawsuits from former officers accusing the department of creating a hostile work environment.

The city settled the suits without any admission of wrongdoing. Several public safety employees defended the department and backed King, as well as others named in the suits.

King was hired as the chief of police in Prosser, Wash. in February. Deputy Chief Bill Simms has led Unalaska’s department since King’s resignation.

Hankins began his tenure in Unalaska Monday, before being sworn in Tuesday evening.

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