APD, police union come to agreement on body-worn cameras

Voters already approved money for body cams and other technology in 2021
APD and police union come to agreement on body-worn cameras
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 2:00 PM AKDT|Updated: May. 24, 2023 at 6:21 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A deal has been reached between the Anchorage Police Department and the union representing police officers to begin using officer-worn body cameras.

Discussions over exactly what rules would apply in the deployment and use of body cameras and their recordings have been ongoing for about two years since Anchorage voters approved funding for the cameras and other technology.

The Alaska Black Caucus and the Northern Justice Project filed a lawsuit against the municipality in April over the slow pace of the talks. One day later, Police Chief Michael Kerle released a new draft policy regarding body-worn cameras. Kerle said the policy remained subject to change depending on arbitration with the police union, which wasn’t expected to take place until the fall.

The head of the Anchorage Police Department Employees Association Darrell Evans, as well as Assembly Member Kameron Perez-Verdia confirmed the deal Wednesday, but neither provided any details.

Late Wednesday afternoon, APD issued a release confirming the deal and linking to the final body-worn camera policy.

In an email, a police spokeswoman said changes from the earlier version of the policy are minimal.

“Nothing that affects the public. The minor changes have to do with internal processes.” Anchorage police spokeswoman Renee Oistad wrote.

Perez-Verdila says changes will come quickly.

“And we know that we’re going to select a vendor soon and get those cameras out on the streets and get them used,” Perez-Verdila said.

This story has been updated with additional information.