Vote on APD use of force ordinance likely to be delayed

The sponsor says more work is needed before it will be ready
Published: Aug. 25, 2020 at 3:16 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - An ordinance that would codify limits on the Anchorage Police Department’s use-of-force policies is likely to have its vote delayed. The ordinance will be up for public hearing at the Anchorage Assembly’s Tuesday meeting, but its sponsor, Midtown Assembly Member Meg Zaletel said she wants more time to work on a new version of the ordinance.

“It really was the intent that the ordinance track the policies and procedures,” Zaletel said. “It didn’t do that 100%, so I thought we would roll back to that original intent and make it track verbatim.”

She added that the ordinance’s intent was never to change the way APD operates, but rather to put its existing rules into municipal code.

“APD is going to be doing what it already does which is follow its policies and procedures…” she said. “But if there were to be changes to that, then it would have to go through the public process of changing the ordinance.”

Despite the delay, APD reaffirmed its opposition to the ordinance, adding that the comments made by APD Chief Justin Doll’s comments at a previous Assembly Public Safety Committee still stand.

“I have to say that the police department is vehemently opposed to this or any operational policy being placed in the municipal code,” Doll said at the meeting. “And I really can’t support this ordinance or any version of it. I think that the lack of flexibility that it introduces into our operations will absolutely have a negative impact on public safety.”

Those interested will still have the opportunity to provide public comment on the ordinance at Tuesday’s meeting, but Zaletel said she expects to have the new version of the ordinance ready near the Assembly’s second meeting in September.

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