Retiring Deputy Chief David Campbell, left, and City and Borough of Juneau Manager Rorie Watt, right, smile for a photo Friday afternoon during a ceremony held at the Juneau Police Station. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Retiring Deputy Chief David Campbell, left, and City and Borough of Juneau Manager Rorie Watt, right, smile for a photo Friday afternoon during a ceremony held at the Juneau Police Station. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Juneau’s deputy and interim police chief retires after 28 years

David Campbell honored for his service during a ceremony Friday afternoon.

Juneau Police Department Deputy Chief of Police David Campbell retired Friday after 28 years of service with the department, including serving as its interim chief during his final two months.

A ceremony in a room at the Juneau Police Station was packed with dozens of law enforcement personnel, family members and city officials who gathered to commemorate his departure.

Campbell began his law enforcement career in 1995. He was one of three candidates picked by JPD out of 110 applicants vying for a position with the department. He moved to Juneau from Anchorage with his wife and two then-young sons. Campbell quickly gained recognition for his commitment to the community and his job, said Deputy City Manager Robert Barr, who read Campbell’s biography.

During his first few years with the department Campbell had no shortage of accomplishments. He completed field training early and worked as a standalone officer for three months before attending the Alaska Department of Public Safety Academy in Sitka where he graduated class valedictorian. In 2002 he was promoted to sergeant, and went on to lead the patrol community services and special operations unit among other leadership roles such as serving as a public information officer.

In 2012 Campbell was promoted to lieutenant and in 2016 he graduated from the FBI National Academy. In 2017 he was promoted to deputy chief, a role he held for six years. Throughout his career Campbell gained a multitude of honors, such as receiving a life-saving medal for successfully negotiating with a person down from a suicidal situation in 2001.

On Friday during an opportunity to speak about Campbell, retired JPD captain Jerry Nankervis took to the podium to thank Campbell for his commitment to the city and applauded his relationships with his family.

“He was committed to this community wholeheartedly, but never, ever did he lose sight of or failed to take pride in every chance he got of his wife for the person she was, and his boys for the people they were and that they will become,” Nankervis said. “Careers come and go, but families are forever and he understood that going in. He’s done a great job for this city. We should all be thankful.”

Multiple officers shared their kind regard for Campbell as well.

“He has friendships all around, not just within this department, within our community and other communities around us, and he is an absolute true officer of our police service,” said Mike Tagaban, a retired officer.

Getting emotional, Campbell thanked everyone for attending the ceremony, joking he was worried no one would show up besides his wife and two sons. Campbell said he is most proud of being able to assist people grow into better versions of themselves while in the department. He thanked the people who helped him as well.

“I will always love and support this department, and I hope the next chief, whoever they are, is incredibly successful,” he said. “This department deserves it. This community deserves it. I have no doubt that the existing leadership team is in a position to address the staffing issue to move forward. I think the future for JPD is very bright.”

According to Barr, Patrol Lt. Jeremy Weske will serve as interim chief during the brief time before the next chief is picked.

• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at or (651) 528-1807.

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