Sandahl says farewell

Gus Sandahl will serve his last day as Kenai Police Chief on May 27.

Sandahl is ending his 20-year career with the Kenai Police Department later this month and retiring from law enforcement. His family will be moving out of state, he said.

He became eligible to retire last year, Sandahl said, and his family has been considering the move for a long time.

“I’m going to pursue a different career,” he said.

Lt. David Ross will step into Sandahl’s shoes with a swearing-in ceremony at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 31, at Kenai City Council Chambers, according to an email from City Manager Rick Koch. Ross has been a lieutenant since 2010, Sandahl said.

“I feel we’ve had strong succession planning within the department the last several years,” Sandahl said, adding that Ross “knows how to do this job.”

The two have worked side-by-side and maintained a good relationship, with their offices right next to each other, Sandahl said.

Sandahl was hired at the Kenai Police Department in 1995, the year after he completed an internship there and graduated from college, he said. Born and raised mostly in Kenai, he has served at the city’s police chief since 2008. Sandahl also worked his way through patrol, investigations and the role of sergeant, he said.

“This a is a place where you look forward to coming to work,” he said of the department. “I’ve always appreciated this job because each day you never knew what type of calls for service were going to come your way.”

Sandahl said he enjoyed getting to work with those outside the criminal justice system, like the hospital and other city departments, as well. In addition to the fast-paced nature of the job, Sandahl said he enjoyed being a member of the police force because he got a chance to try to improve the lives of those around him.

“Oftentimes, when people report something to the police, they’re having a problem of some sort,” he said. “And hopefully through your hard work and your poise and your response, you’re able to make this situation better for them.”

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