New UAFPD chief hired after months-long search

Keith Mallard is the new police chief at UAFPD. Photo courtesy of uafcornerstone.net.

Keith Mallard is the new police chief at UAFPD. Photo courtesy of uafcornerstone.net.

Tal Norvell/Sun Star Reporter

March 4, 2014

Keith Mallard has been hired as UAF’s new police chief, ending the nearly year long search to fill the position.

The 42-year-old was colonel of the Alaska State Troopers before becoming UAFPD chief and has 19 years of law enforcement experience. Mallard is married with two children, was born in Nevada and moved around frequently growing up. Most of his youth was spent in Caldwell, Idaho.

“I was kind of a rambunctious kid and got to meet the local police quite a bit growing up,” Mallard said, “With all that being said, I still had this inner desire to serve others.”

The character of law enforcement officers Mallard dealt with in his youth rubbed off on him. “I saw something in those men, coming in and out of my life,”Mallard said, “They were protecting me and my family. They were trying to make our world a better place.”

Mallard served in the U.S. Navy, later returning to Idaho to take his first police job as deputy sheriff in his hometown Caldwell. Mallard said he wants to be an active support in the campus community.

“I’ve had such an incredibly blessed career, it just seems right to give back to what’s really the next generation of leaders in our state,” Mallard said. Mallard said he appreciates the dedicated members of UAFPD, but wants them to be more “customer service oriented.”

“There’s this perception that you can’t approach the police,” Mallard said. “The reality is there’s nobody here that’s not open to someone coming to them with questions.”

When not working, Mallard enjoys cross-country skiing, mountain biking, hunting, fishing and going camping with his family. Mallard was officially hired two weeks ago, replacing Sean McGee who retired last spring.

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