Soldotna's new Chief of Police, John Lucking Jr., says he's use to all the puns with his last name, but was very sincere when he took his oath of office from Soldotna City Clerk Patricia Burdick last week and added, "I'm very honored and humbled to be here, it's a real pleasure and I'm looking forward to my relationship with the members of the community and being part of Soldotna."
Without a doubt Soldotna Mayor David Carey felt he was "lucking out," as summer like temperatures and bright azure skies welcomed the Lucking's to Soldotna. John and his wife Suzanne have three daughters 8-year-old Heidi, 6-year-old Lindsey, and 4-year-old Rachael. The Lucking's relocated to Soldotna from Unalaska where John was the director of the Department of Public Safety. Comparing the two communities Lucking said, "Well there's a road in and out of town, but that's about the only comparison. We're very happy about the weather change, after nearly nineteen years in the Aleutians the blue skies will be good mental health medicine for us."
Newly sworn in SPD Chief John Lucking Jr. and his daughters greet the crowd of students and officials that gathered to welcome him to his new home.
Some 60 students from Skyview High School and local dignitaries that included State Senator Tom Wagoner, Kenai Police Chief Chuck Kopp and members of the Soldotna City Council, welcomed Chief Lucking. When asked what members of the community could do to help him keep our community safe? Lucking said, "Communication, I think communication is the most important thing. People need to realize that our door is open and the police department needs to hear when there is a problem. It's more difficult to deal with situations after they've blown up, instead of just preventing it and taking precautionary measures. So if we can keep the information flow coming into the police department, and people let us know how we can serve, we can commit to be reactive and do everything we can to satisfy the community needs."
A native to Alaska, Lucking graduated from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks with a degree in criminal justice and electronic technologies. He has attended the Northwestern University Police Administration school and the FBI National Academy.
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