Sitka police chief calls for changes to improve retention

    Sitka, Alaska (AP) - Sitka's police chief has asked borough officials to increase wages and support other changes to improve recruitment and retention of police officers.

    Sitka Police Chief Jeff Ankerfelt brought the issue before the borough assembly this week, saying his department can hire 16 officers, but it's staffed with 12.

    He says his department only has 10 "capable of performing the duties of a police officer," and two are planning to leave later this year.

    He recommended officials increase wages by $5 per hour, compress the wage scale and hire more officers to cut down on overtime and improve retention.

    City administrator Keith Brady says he will form a more comprehensive plan that calls for working with the police union and others.

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