Juneau Police Chief Ed Mercer is honored with Public Service Award at AFN convention
Juneau Police Chief Ed Mercer is receiving the Alaska Federation of Natives 2021 Public Service President’s Award. The honor “recognizes an Alaska Native who has demonstrated dedication, competence, and sensitivity in the area of public service. This award recognizes individuals who have 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.
“It’s a humbling experience to receive this award and I’m honored, surprised, and grateful,” Chief Mercer said. “I joined law enforcement because I wanted to work with a group of people that serves the public and makes the community better. That’s what we’re here to do – to serve.”
Mercer is the first Alaska Native to lead the Juneau Police Department. He was born and raised in Sitka and is Tlingit, Raven Coho. Mercer’s law enforcement career includes 21 years with the Juneau Police Department.
Being Police Chief means being a role model and building a police force that reflects the community: “There’s not a lot of minorities in law enforcement. I look around and there are a few, but not a lot. 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.
Mercer has worked his way through the ranks, becoming Police Chief in July 2017. His prior JPD positions include Deputy Police Chief, Captain, Lieutenant, Sergeant, and Officer. Prior to coming to Juneau, Mercer was a Police Officer in Sitka. He started his police career as a reserve officer in Sitka in 1992, eventually accepting a full time Sitka Police officer position.
Mercer holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Herzing University in Madison, Wisconsin, and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. He serves on the board for the Alaska Association of Chiefs of Police, Alaska Police Standards Council, High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Board, and the FBI CJIS Northwest Group.
Mercer is accepting the AFN Public Service President’s Award via video this afternoon at the virtual AFN Convention. See the agenda here and watch the convention live here.