Next opportunity for public to weigh in on police body cam policy set for August

Alaska's News Source
Alaska's News Source
Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 3:57 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The next opportunity for community members to weigh in on the development of a body camera policy for the Anchorage Police Department will be during a public meeting on Aug. 4, the department announced Wednesday.

The department is in the process of adopting a body camera policy after voters approved an annual $1.84 million property tax increase in April to fund the purchase of body cameras as well a significant technology upgrade for the department.

The Public Safety Advisory Commission will hold a meeting on Aug. 4 to discuss the draft policy and hear public input, according to APD Spokesperson MJ Thim.

More information about the meeting, including the time and location, will be forthcoming, a community alert from APD stated Wednesday.

Attendance was lower than expected at an initial public listening session the department hosted in June. Just 19 people spoke publicly about the draft policy.

Multiple speakers identified issues of concern in the draft policy, including lack of clarity about when officers should turn the cameras on and the circumstances under which APD will allow the public access to the video captured, particularly after use of force incidents. Community members also urged the department to allow additional opportunities for public participation.

“Your message was clear to us,” Anchorage Police Chief Ken McCoy said after the listening session. “So we’re going to get to work and we will be communicating more and providing more opportunities to continue this conversation.”

During an Anchorage Assembly public safety committee meeting on Wednesday, APD command staff said the projected timeline for putting the technology in use among officers is the first quarter of 2022.

A revised draft policy will be released to the public following the August meeting, according to police department.

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