APD union reports ‘business as usual’ amid government shake up

Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 7:52 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Following several days of surprising developments, including an announcement that Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz will resign amid a scandal, the Anchorage Police Department Employees Association does not anticipate immediate impacts to public safety.

APDEA President Sgt. Jeremy Conkling said while the union’s members are waiting to see who will take over as acting mayor, there are no changes to their day-to-day work in Anchorage.

“Our dispatchers are still at our dispatch center, they’re still answering 911 calls, calls for service. Our patrol officers are still out on the street responding to calls for service. Our detectives are still at work investigating crimes. You know, I understand certainly that the unrest that’s occurring in the city government, but within the confines of APD, and certainly the members of APDEA, it is business as usual for us,” said Conkling.

APDEA endorsed Berkowitz as a candidate. He then worked to bolster the force by significantly increasing the number of APD officers over the last several years.

Even as negotiations are underway between APDEA and the city, with the union’s current contract expiring at the end of the year, Conkling said he does not anticipate a shift in public safety priorities before the next municipal election.

Conkling also defended the integrity of the department and its investigation into unsubstantiated claims against the mayor.

“I have never known our chief to have compromised integrity, and there is a wall there, quite honestly. The mayor is the mayor, right, but the department directors specifically at APD ... I can say without question that Chief Doll, Deputy Chief McCoy, Deputy Chief Kerle are the ones who direct the Anchorage Police Department and the mayor does not direct the Anchorage Police Department.”

A spokesperson from the Anchorage Police Department confirmed Saturday that they were aware of the allegations and a joint investigation with the FBI revealed no evidence of criminal conduct. On Tuesday, the FBI released a statement adding that the Anchorage field office is continuing to monitor the situation.

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