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Bethel's police chief resigns effective Jan. 1

Courtesy of Leonard "Pete" Hicks

Leonard “Pete” Hicks submitted his resignation letter to the City of Bethel on Tuesday, Dec. 5. He said that his last day will be Dec. 31, 2023.

“I've enjoyed the community,” Hicks said. “I like the community. But I feel like I've reached a point where there's just not much more I can do, and it will just probably be in everybody's best interest at this point just to move on and let somebody else try.”

City of Bethel Human Resources Director Laura Cloward said that Hicks has been on the job for a year and a few months.

“We did receive Chief Hicks' letter of resignation to be effective at the beginning of the new year, Jan. 1,” Cloward said on Dec. 6. “He's been with us since Sept. 12, 2022, so a bit over a year. We know he's definitely had an impact on the Bethel community, and we really appreciate his service and wish him all the best for his future.”

Hicks’ resignation letter didn’t cite any specific incidents that motivated his decision. But in the letter Hicks wrote, “Both internal and external interference and challenges have hindered my ability to enforce and maintain discipline within the department.”

As of the evening of Dec. 6, the city had not posted a job bulletin or a timeline for hiring a new police chief.

Francisco Martínezcuello was the KYUK News Reporting Fellow from November 2022 through January 2024. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley School of Journalism. He is also a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.
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