The tragic death of George Floyd beneath the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer, captured on video, has sparked national and global scrutiny and concern over how police treat people of color. That concern has come to Anchorage.
Both the police union and the police chief issued statements after Floyd’s death, decrying the act that led to Floyd’s death, and emphasizing their commitment to best practices such as training in implicit bias, cultural awareness and de-escalation.
On June 9, the municipality offered a community briefing on police policies. The briefing and supporting material posted to the Mayor’s Facebook page covered the status of APD policy recommendations on banning chokeholds unless deadly force is authorized, de-escalation, warning before shooting and more.
“This policy was most recently updated last week as we watched the national discussion on best practices for police departments regarding authorized use of force techniques,” the police chief wrote in an introduction to the materials.
The police chief and mayor both expressed interest in hearing from the public and working together to better serve Anchorage. The goal of today’s Justice Alaska program is to gather perspective on what community members would like to see in community policing in Anchorage, and to hear the local police union’s perspective on the national debate over whether unions hinder police agency reform by making it difficult to remove problem officers.
The APD was not able to provide a representative for this program, but expressed interest in being part of a future program on community policing; we’ll invite them again. As always, your questions and comments are welcome throughout the program. We hope you’ll join us.
HOST: Kathleen McCoy
- Jasmin Smith, business woman and entrepreneur, community advocate
- Sgt. Jeremy Conkling, President of the Anchorage Police Department Employee Association
- Community briefing on APD policies, Facebook, 6.9.2020
- Additional material from community briefing, including Use of Force policy, Facebook 8.9.20
- Resolution 2020-197, committing to address inequity and injustice in Anchorage, Anchorage Assembly document
- APDEA Collective Bargaining Agreement, 1.1.2018-12.31.2020
- Policing in America is broken and must change. But how? New York Times magazine, 6-13-2020
- Rethinking police: How Camden NJ reimagined its force, Associated Press, 6.15.2020
- NAACP Anchorage branch, Facebook page
- Anchorage Cops for Community, local nonprofit promoting police-community relations, funded by the APDEA, website
- Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752 (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
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- LIVE: Monday, June 15, 2020 at 2:00 p.m
- RE-AIR: Monday, June 15, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.
- PODCAST: at www.alaskapublic.org/hometown for free future public access