Shockley Resigns As Unalaska's Acting Police Chief

Jan 25, 2019

Jennifer Shockley (right) resigned on Jan. 25 from the Unalaska Department of Public Safety. Her last day on the job will be Feb. 24.
Credit BRIAN WAUGH

Updated 1/28/19

Unalaska's acting police chief has resigned after more than 18 years with the department.

Jennifer Shockley submitted her letter of resignation Friday after accepting a job in west Africa as an advisor to Liberia's national police.

"I've been pursuing other opportunities for about six months now," she said. "I have felt for a while like it would be good for me to have a change of pace."

Shockley declined to comment on why she was looking for something new. But as a former Peace Corps volunteer in the central African country of Cameroon, she said she's excited for another chance to work overseas.

She'll be based in Monrovia, Liberia as a contractor with the U.S. State Department.

"It's something I'm really, really looking forward to," she said. "They already have a police force that's extant, but it needs a lot of mentoring and some guidance to get their systems up where they want them to be. It should be very neat."

Shockley's last day as Unalaska's acting police chief will be Feb. 24. She has held that position since last winter, when Mike Holman retired as director of the Department of Public Safety (DPS).

In that time, DPS has been at the center of heated debates amongst city officials and community members over department structure, employee morale, and staff recruitment and retention.

Shockley declined to comment on who might replace her. She said the city is still figuring out how to handle the transition, but she expects nonessential projects to be put on hold.

"Staffing at the department is pretty low, and how those things will be divvied up remains to be seen," she said. "The reality is that some of them will probably just be put in abeyance until staffing is higher. Our patrol staff have a full-time job just maintaining minimum staffing for calls for service for the community."

Shockley said she "cares deeply" about Unalaska and has mixed feelings about her decision to leave. She moved to the island almost 30 years ago, working first as a fisheries observer before joining DPS.

"It's a great place to live," she said. "I'm not selling my house. Unalaska is my home, and I will be back. So I'd like to tell people who might be waving goodbye as if they're never going to see me again that I will actually be back, for better or for worse. It's been — for the most part — a really good career here."

Original Story -- -- -- 

Unalaska's acting police chief has resigned after more than 18 years with the department.

Jennifer Shockley submitted her letter of resignation Friday morning after accepting a job in Monrovia, Liberia as an advisor to the Liberian national police.

"It's something I'm really, really looking forward to," she said. "They already have a police force that's extant, but it needs a lot of mentoring and some guidance to get their systems up where they want them to be. It should be very neat."

Shockley previously served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon in central Africa.

She moved to Unalaska almost 30 years ago, working first as a fisheries observer before joining the Department of Public Safety.

Shockley has served as acting police chief and Public Safety director since the Jan. 2018 retirement of Mike Holman.

In that time, the department has been at the center of heated debates amongst city officials and community members. Last month, the City Council voted to split Public Safety into two standalone departments: one for fire and emergency medical services, and another for police, corrections, and dispatch.

Shockley's last day will be Feb. 24.