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Anchorage police release draft proposal for body camera use

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Anchorage Police Department is proposing that uniformed officers wear body cameras at all time while on duty and record all calls for service or when initiating encounters with the public “unless it is unsafe, impossible, or impractical to do so.”

The department is seeking public comment on the draft proposal, with a listening session set for later this month. Anchorage voters earlier this year approved a property tax increase to pay for body cameras and police department technology upgrades, Alaska Public Media reported.

Acting Anchorage Police Chief Kenneth McCoy said the cameras will provide more transparency.

“We know that the cameras will help hold bad officers accountable. We’ve seen it across the country, so it’s important,” he said. “And that’s why we’re willing to make the effort to get our officers outfitted with it, in the community.”

The draft policy would allow officers to turn off cameras when speaking to other officers about the facts of a case, when interacting with an undercover officer or confidential informant, or in places with an expectation of privacy like a gym locker room.

Officers could face discipline if they fail to activate cameras in required situations or “inappropriately interrupt or terminate a recording,” under the draft.

The Associated Press