JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy has appointed James “Jim” Cockrell to lead the Department of Public Safety.
Cockrell replaces Amanda Price, who in February said she was asked to resign by Dunleavy’s then-chief of staff and told Dunleavy wanted “to go in a different direction” with the department.
Price said she believed she was removed for advocating for improved 911 dispatch services to rural communities and for a personnel decision she said she was limited in discussing.
Dunleavy said Tuesday he doesn’t discuss personnel issues. He said his administration was “committed to making sure that individual Alaskans are able to access 911 service.”
His office, in announcing Price’s resignation, said Dunleavy wanted to thank Price “for moving the department forward during her tenure.”
In a release, Dunleavy’s office said Cockrell had a long-standing career with the Alaska State Troopers and Alaska Wildlife Troopers. Cockrell retired in 2017 and has since worked as a security supervisor for a Kenai refinery, the release says.
Cockrell said he was honored by the appointment and proud of the department. He said he hopes to make a difference.
His appointment is subject to legislative confirmation and was lauded by Republican Senate President Peter Micciche and Senate Democratic Leader Tom Begich.