Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $890,000)
Body-Worn Cameras (BWCs) are being used by many law enforcement agencies as a tool to improve policing services through enhancing evidence collection, strengthening officer performance and accountability, increasing agency transparency, documenting encounters between police and the public, and investigating and resolving complaints and officer-involved incidents. BWC systems enable officers to record situations that occur in most any environment and provide the greatest ability of recording flexibility available. BWCs provide many benefits to an agency by offering an additional layer of safety and can be used as a tool to improve community trust through transparency. BWCs will hold officers and citizens accountable, knowing their actions will be recorded by cameras
The Municipality of Anchorage, Anchorage Police Department (APD) is the primary law enforcement agency with responsibility for the Municipality of Anchorage, the largest metropolitan area in the State of Alaska. The local jurisdictional area is comprised of 288,970 citizens (40% of the population of the state) spread over a service area of 160 square miles. The department accomplishes its mission with a staff of 445 sworn officers and 162 non-sworn support and administrative personnel. In 2018, Anchorage became a Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN) Target Enforcement area, PSN areas are designated to create and foster safer neighborhoods through reduction in violent crime. Additionally, Anchorage became a National Public Safety Partnership (PSP) site in 2019. The PSP was established by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to enhance federal support of state, local, and tribal law enforcement, and prosecution by enhancing public safety. Both the PSN and PSP partnerships help to combat violent crime in the jurisdictions with violent crime rates above the national average.
The APD is seeking to utilize BWCs to improve policing service and through the proposed plan, will enhance their video evidence capability by equipping all sworn officers in the department with a body-worn camera. APD currently has 445 sworn officers, of which 275-300 officers have patrol activities or daily citizen interaction in the field. The proposed program supports a new implementation of a broad-scale BWC program for all sworn personnel. With the assistance from OJP BJA Federal funding and local matching funds, APD will propose implementation of 445 cameras to include storage and licensing costs, camera accessories and redaction costs, and training materials as well as, writing a comprehensive BWC policy.