APD Policies Reviewed

A report on official procedures in the wake of a sexual assault conviction of former Anchorage Police officer Anthony Rollins was made public Friday. Rollins was convicted of raping several women while he was an on-duty police officer. Anchorage city officials were briefed on the International Association of Chiefs of Police report at a work session Friday in Anchorage. APD chief Mark Mew says the report looks at what his department has done in the last year to make changes.

“So it concentrated a lot on our internal affairs, capacity, how we work, how we track information, how accessible we are to the public, how seriously we take these matters. There’s a lot of data in there on that topic. We’ve done about ten initiatives that we at the APD felt would make it very difficult for us to have another event of this type. The IACP looked at those and measured, and told us whether or not they were good ideas and they did like them. They thought we have gone a long ways toward closing this door.”

Mew says the IACP did make recommendations about additional staff training, documentation of the initiative’s progress, and an annual assessment by a municipal auditor. The police chief was not certain about the additional costs of the programs

“It recommends we fill a couple of positions that have been unfilled for some time. Of course, we are looking at a budget situation right now that may involve reductions in staff. So I don’t know how that budget picture is going to form up yet. Potentially, filling those two recommendations, filling those two positions would cost money, money that may or may not be in my budget next year “

The IACP report did recognize that the APD had “recognized the consequences of the Rollings event and its threat to public trust”, while “the department has embraced a commitment to mitigate future acts of sexual misconduct” as well as the APD’s Zero Tolerance policy for sexual misconduct.

Anchorage mayor Dan Sullivan says the report is an affirmation that under Mew’s leadership the city police department has improved it’s procedures. The report’s recommendations will not be immediately implemented, Sullivan said

“No, it doesn’t happen overnight. But we’ve already just in the time since the Rollins incident happened, there’s already been some big changes made, like the substation of having video cameras, cameras in cars, the contact reports that we do where every contact with a citizen they receive a card about who that officer was and how to reach him, the random checks that we do to interview folks who have made contact with officers to make sure that contact was professional. So, we’ve gotten an awful lot accomplished already, but again, more to do. “

Mayor Sullivan says the five and a half million dollars the city must pay resulting from lawsuits stemming from the Rollins case will be shared by insurance and city taxpayers. He says about two million dollars will be paid by city taxpayers.

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