Police Department

Chief of Police Biography

John J. "Jack" Sturgus
January 1, 1921 - February 20, 1921

John "Jack" Sturgus began as Chief of Police of Anchorage's one-man police department on January 1, 1921.  His salary was $200 a month.  He was shot and killed just six weeks later with his own gun on February 20, 1921 and his murderer was never apprehended.  To date, his death is the oldest unsolved murder in Anchorage since incorporation.

Jack Sturgus was born December 24, 1861 in Mansfield, Ohio.  He was a peace officer in Montana and Everett, Washington before coming to Alaska in 1913, when he joined the stampede to the Shushanna place strike.  He relocated to Anchorage in 1916 and was employed as special U.S. Deputy until his appointment as Anchorage's first chief of police.

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