The longtime public face of the RCMP in Nunavut is hanging up his hat.

On Wednesday, Sgt. Jimmy Akavak retired from the force after nearly three decades as a Mountie.

"There are many people who I have to thank — especially my wife and the people who encouraged me to continue. I could not have done this alone. Thank you very much," said Akavak.


Jimmy Akavak is retiring from the RCMP, after spending 28 years with the force. (CBC)

In his time with the Mounties, he often served as a cultural bridge between RCMP and Inuit in Nunavut. Akavak also acted as a media officer and a crisis negotiator.

"He has gone into Kimmirut, he has gone into Arviat, after we have had some major incidences.  And his work there has become, in a sense, a best helping Ottawa's police service, helping the investigative teams to get an understanding of the people of Nunavut," said Nunavut RCMP Supt. Hilton Smee.

Akavak grew up in Kimmirut in a family with close ties to the Mounties. His grandfather, father and uncle were all RCMP Special Constables.

Jimmy Akavak was first sworn in 28 years ago. In 2008, he became the first Inuk officer to be promoted to the rank of Sergeant.

Even though he has turned in his badge, Akavak said he won't be resting during his retirement. He has taken a new job with a sealift company in Iqaluit.