Anchorage Assembly passes resolution to increase oversight on APD policies and procedures
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Anchorage Assembly passed a resolution Tuesday night to increase oversight of the Anchorage Police Department’s policies and procedures. The resolution specifically creates a process wherein the Public Safety Advisory Commission or the newly created Office of Equity and Justice can review procedures and proposed changes to decide whether or not they require additional public feedback.
The resolution was initially met with resistance from several members, including South Anchorage Assembly Member John Weddleton, who moved to postpone the resolution indefinitely. One major issue he cited was that the Public Safety Commission is undergoing a restructuring following reports it was not effectively conducting business.
“The Public Safety Advisory Committee is kind of the hinge upon which this swings, and we have later in our agenda, or maybe we passed it in our consent agenda, but it basically says this one’s not functioning,” he said.
However, the motion to postpone failed and a series of amendments made the resolution more appealing to members. As amended, the resolution requires a quarterly report from APD on any changes to procedures and contains a more streamlined process for review by the different groups.
The resolution was put forward by Assembly Member Meg Zaletel, who previously sponsored an ordinance that would have put APD’s policies into Municipal code. That ordinance failed. Zaletel argued this resolution was a small step in making good on a commitment the Assembly had made to address community concerns around police accountability.
“I want everyone to know that, quite frankly, we have a fantastic police force, but to know that, you have to be able to have these conversations, and if we don’t provide the mechanism or we keep putting it off, it will be 2021, and it will just keep moving forward,” she said.
Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll released the following statement:
“APD remains committed to keeping the public informed about what we do and how we do it. This resolution was collaborative effort between us and our community partners and is part of our transparency promise. We wanted to find a way that was simple for the public to navigate and stay informed about APD’s policies. We appreciate the Assembly’s assistance as we worked on the best solution and outcome.”
The resolution ultimately passed 10-1, with only West Anchorage Assembly Member Kameron Perez-Verdia voting against.
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