In recent weeks, many have been puzzled by Anchorage Police Chief Kenneth McCoy’s sudden and unexplained announcement that he will step down on February 1, 2022, after serving only a brief stint as Chief of Police. McCoy, a 27-year veteran of APD, had earned widespread attention for being Anchorage’s first Black police chief. Now, multiple sources tell the Landmine that McCoy announced his resignation in response to a series of improper demands by Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson and Municipal Manager Amy Demboski. Moreover, the Alaska Landmine has been told of a growing chain of command crises at APD in which a contingent of police officers have begun reporting directly to Bronson and Demboski.
Sources tell the Landmine that McCoy made the decision to resign following three specific incidents:
- During the midst of a chaotic October 7 Anchorage Assembly meeting over the proposed mask mandate, the Mayor’s office inexplicably dismissed the private security contractors who help the Assembly maintain order in the chambers. Earlier that night, Municipal Manager Amy Demboski had unsuccessfully attempted to have the public live stream of the event cut. Now, sources tell the Landmine that Bronson and Demboski also ordered McCoy to instruct Anchorage Police Department (APD) officers to leave the Assembly chambers. Sources say that Chief McCoy adamantly refused, stating that while APD could not perform crowd control their presence was required to protect public officials and respond to criminal activity.
- During a tour of the Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utilty (AWWU) facility, Bronson and senior staff allegedly stunned AWWU employees when they interfered with or deactivated the system that fluoridates the municipal water supply. As a result, sources say, the Anchorage water supply may have gone without fluoride for several hours. Fluoride is added to municipal water by law. Sources did not claim that either McCoy or other APD personnel were involved in this incident. It is unclear how or why McCoy became aware of the Bronson administration’s alleged attempt to inhibit Anchorage water fluoridation.
- Multiple sources allege that Mayor Bronson’s office ordered Chief McCoy to have APD officers enter Anchorage medical facilities in order to “rescue” a man sick with COVID and/or compel medical providers to treat the man with Ivermectin. Sources claim that the target of the “rescue” may have been a Wasilla man named Dan O’Barr. On November 18, a person claiming to be O’Barr’s wife wrote on Facebook that O’Barr was extremely sick and in the hospital. Several prominent Alaska political figures, including Senator Mike Shower (R – Wasilla), Senator Lora Reinbold (R – Eagle River), and Must Read Alaska publisher Suzanne Downing, left reactions to the post. The Bronson Administration allegedly instructed McCoy to conduct the “rescue” at Providence Hospital, though O’Barr may have actually been receiving treatment at St. Elias, a separate Providence-affiliated facility. A source claims that the Bronson Administration instructed McCoy to have doctors, nurses, or other hospital personnel who attempted to interfere with APD’s operation arrested.
Sources tell the Landmine that the Bronson administration’s improper demands were made against a backdrop of a growing schism at APD between those adhering to the traditional chain of command and a splinter group that has begun reporting directly to Bronson and Demboski. One source claims that this splinter group is comprised of members affiliated with Anchorage Baptist Temple, of which Bronson is a member.
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The Landmine contacted Bronson administration spokesperson Corey Allen Young for comment on three claims: that the administration had ordered APD to leave an Assembly meeting, that the administration had attempted to interfere with the municipality’s fluoridation program, and that the administration had attempted to use APD to enter a hospital and interfere with patient care. Over the phone, Young told the Landmine that it was a state senator, and not Mayor Bronson, who had been involved in the hospital situation. In a subsequent e-mail, Young responded to all three claims by stating “This is false. This did not happen.”