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Lucking Hired As Unalaska's Interim Police Chief On Six-Month Contract

Berett Wilber/KUCB

Former Unalaska police chief John Lucking is back on the job.

The city has hired Lucking to serve as interim head of the Department of Public Safety, following Jennifer Shockley's resignation last month.

KUCB's Laura Kraegel has more on the temporary contract and the continued search for a full-time police chief.

Lucking first worked as a police officer in Unalaska in 1980s. 

He eventually became chief, though he left the community in the early 2000s to head up police departments in Soldotna and Sand Point.

Now, Lucking is back in Unalaska on a six-month contract.

According to the agreement, he'll serve as interim police chief through the end of August or until the city makes a full-time hire — whichever comes first.

The position has been open since Mike Holman retired in January of 2018.

City officials postponed the hiring process during a heated debate over department restructuring. But the search is back on, following the decision to separate Public Safety into two standalone departments.

Lucking's contract states that he'll assist in efforts to recruit a permanent police chief and — when the time comes — stay an extra 10 days to help smooth the transition.  

He'll earn $9,967 per pay period, or almost $20,000 per month, for his work, which includes day-to-day management of the police force.

Although he started last Monday, March 4, Lucking is off-island this week on a preplanned vacation. KUCB has an interview scheduled with him upon his return and will bring Unalaskans more information after that.

Meanwhile, City Manager Thomas E. Thomas has not responded to multiple requests for comment on the staffing changes happening at City Hall or the transition underway at Public Safety.

Laura Kraegel reported for KUCB from 2016 until 2020. She was KUCB's news director starting in 2019.
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