Fire Chief Dave Miller will simultaneously serve as Acting Police Chief. Police Chief Sheldon Schmitt will begin extended family medical leave tomorrow (08-12-16). (Photo by Bill Greer)

Fire Chief Dave Miller was appointed Acting Police Chief today (08-11-16) by municipal administrator Mark Gorman. Sitka’s Police Chief Sheldon Schmitt will be out on extended family medical leave until further notice.

Miller received the news from city administration this morning. Over the phone with KCAW, he said, “The police department here is a great police department. I know pretty much all of them and they’re a great bunch of guys. We’re just going to make it work and move on and make things happen.”

Miller plans to divide his time between the Sitka Fire Hall and Sitka Police station, as needed, communicating with radios and cell phones. He added that the two departments work together often. “Police officers respond to 90% of our EMS and fire calls. They’re a great asset. When volunteers can’t show up because of work, in the daytime, they’re there to help us out in a heartbeat. I think working together and doing this is going to be a big asset for both groups.”

Schmitt’s extended family medical leave begins tomorrow  (08-12-16). KCAW could not reach him for comment by press time.