Chief Ed Mercer of the Juneau Police Department received the Public Service President’s Award at the Alaska Federation of Natives 2021 Convention.
The award recognizes an Alaska Native person who has “promoted and assisted in the development of their community, or whose accomplishments and leadership qualities have most directly affected and benefited Native peoples,” according to AFN’s website.
“I am humbled to be selected for the AFN Public Service Award. It has been truly an honor to serve the community, the State of Alaska, and be recognized for this service.” Mercer said in an email. “I see this award to be reflective of the opportunity to work with great professionals at the Juneau Police Department and to acknowledge all of the hard work they do every day in the community.”
Mercer is the first Alaska Native to head up the JPD, taking the position in 2017, according to a City and Borough of Juneau. Mercer has been with JPD for 21 years, according to the city. Mercer served with the Sitka Police Department where he grew up before transferring to Juneau.
“There’s not a lot of minorities in law enforcement. I look around and there are a few, but not a lot,” Mercer said. “I think it says something to young minds and young people to say, ‘You can do this. It is an option.’ I think that is something significant.”
Mercer said relationships among organizations are the focus of his continued tenure as chief of the JPD.
“Moving forward, I want to continue to work with partnering with other agencies and community stakeholders to expand our working relationships in our State.” Mercer said.
• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or email@example.com.