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Alaska Department of Public Safety Body-Worn Camera Policy & Procedures

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $938,000)

The Department of Public Safety (DPS) is seeking federal contributions through this grant to support implementation of a body-worn camera (BWC) policy and deployment of devices statewide to 469 DPS commissioned personnel who have regular contact with public.  The personnel are troopers, court services officers and fire and life safety (FLS) investigators.  DPS is a law enforcement agency providing service to the public statewide including crime deterrence, prevention and investigations, traffic enforcement, support to Village Public Safety Officers, fish, game and habitat violation investigations, and FLS investigations.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, from 2013 – 2017, half of DPS’ service area is a high-poverty area (HPA), see attachment labeled “Alaska High-Poverty Area,” and remained a HPA in the census for 2018 and 2019.  146 commissioned personnel service the area.  From DPS information statewide 2013 to 2021, there were 3,027 use-of-force incidents in DPS where 485 resulted in citizen injury, 344 resulted in commissioned injury, and nine resulted in citizen death.  There were 40 officer-involved-shootings (OIS).  There were 28 OIS deaths where two in the HPA resulted in trooper deaths.  In the HPA, there were about 453 use-of-force incidents, 4 OISs, 99 homicides, 2,895 felony assaults, 1,954 sex crimes, 38 robberies, and 147 fire incidents with 88 suspicious and two homicides.  DPS is developing a policy on BWCs and researching BWCs.  The policy will include procedures for usage, evidence handling, data retention, and public information requests.  The goal of the BWC policy is to foster the public trust through increased documentation of the interaction of commissioned personnel with the public and to increase support to victims of crimes through BWC documentation of initial call response and crime scene investigation as evidence for more effective prosecution.  Implementation of the policy is expected by July 2022.  DPS faces challenges of limited cyber-infrastructure in rural locations around the state.  A bandwidth assessment in the rural areas will determine infrastructure needs for cyber-secure data transfers from the BWCs to storage.  DPS will procure and purchase BWCs, items and plans from July 2022 to October 2022.  There are five vendors on the NASPO contact with DPS and DPS will request to utilize one of those existing vendors.  DPS will train commissioned personnel statewide, from October 2022 to October 2023, and deploy BWCs, first, in the HPA, and second, statewide.

Date Created: December 17, 2021