The draft policy suggests that all uniformed officers will wear the cameras and use them to record nearly every interaction they have with members of the public.
Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll said that the department has a “progressive mindset” when it comes to its use of force policies, but acknowledged there are areas where the department needs to improve.
Five officers are currently testing the new body cameras that could be worn by all patrol officers by middle of 2018.
Forty JPD officers would be equipped with body cameras that would be funded by matching grants from CBJ Assembly and U.S. Department of Justice.
Juneau Mayor Ken Koelsch and Deputy Mayor Jerry Nankervis opposed the appropriation for the cameras in the 7-2 vote.
KTOO’s afternoon local newscast for Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016.
As police departments across the country equip their officers with body cameras, many are struggling to strike a balance between the public’s right to know and privacy protections.
“Property crime is down significantly, but violent crime is up,” Police Chief Bryce Johnson told the Juneau Assembly.
Lawmakers want to prohibit police officers from viewing video from their body cameras before they write their reports. It’s part of an effort to bring more transparency to policing.
President Obama has been meeting with civil rights leaders and other officials to discuss mistrust of police in communities of color. Obama is announcing a task force on “21st century policing.”