Body Camera Implementation Update

The Justice Committee has been committed to advocating for implementing body-worn cameras for the Anchorage Police Department for the past two and one-half years. The Alaska Black Caucus, the Northern Justice Project, and the NAACP Anchorage Branch proposed that APD and the Municipality publicly release body cam recordings last February 2022. Then, the Alaska Black Caucus sued the Municipality of Anchorage over delays in equipping police with body cameras on April 19, 2023. We held public rallies and attended Municipal Assembly Meetings. As far as we know, there are still no body cams.

The only way for the public to get information about what APD is doing with our funds dedicated to implementing Body Cams is to attend the Assembly Public Safety Committee meetings on the first Wednesday of each month. At the latest Public Safety Committee meeting on September 6, 2023, APD Chief Kerle was absent. Deputy Chief Case’s initial report took less than 30 seconds: “I will start off with a body cam update. We are on track, we have really nothing new to report. The Municipality as a whole is moving forward. We have done our policy training. Our hardware training will come a little closer to deployment. No obstacles, so that’s the good news.” Assembly members did ask questions: Is there a timeline for having body cams on the street? Do we have body cams here? Which officers will have body cams? Is there a plan to inform the public of the progress in rolling out body cams? The answers were highly vague. The whole presentation is less than 10 minutes. You can hear the entire body cam “update” here: Here’s the meeting recording: