Palin names Kenai police chief new top cop

Charles Kopp to replace Monegan as state public safety commissioner

Posted: Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A city police chief has once again been tapped to lead the state's Department of Public Safety.

Al Grillo / The Associated Press
Al Grillo / The Associated Press

Gov. Sarah Palin on Monday named Charles "Chuck" Kopp to lead the state agency.

He succeeds Walt Monegan, a former Anchorage police chief who was fired by Palin on Friday. Palin said she wanted the agency to head in a new direction, with new leadership.

"Chuck has dedicated his career to public safety and shares my commitment to strengthening our communities and combating drug and alcohol problems in rural Alaska," Palin said in a prepared statement.

"He is a person of great integrity and I am confident that he will provide excellent leadership and direction to the Department of Public Safety," she said.

Kopp, 43, has worked for the Kenai Police Department since 1989. He has a total of 21 years of police and public safety experience.

"My leadership will put a significant emphasis on all divisions bringing the highest level of accountable and responsive service to the citizens of the state of Alaska," Kopp said in a statement.

"I will continue to promote the best possible work environment for the employees of the Department of Public Safety, and be accountable and responsive to the Office of the Governor as I execute my duties," he said.

Kopp has a bachelor's degree in justice from the University of Alaska Anchorage and is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy. He lives in Kenai with his wife and three children.

Palin appointed Monegan after her election in 2006. On Friday, Palin's chief of staff told Monegan he was being replaced.

Monegan said the news was unexpected.

Monegan was offered a different job, as executive director of the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, but he turned it down.

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