(Juneau Empire File)

(Juneau Empire File)

Alaska State Troopers expect body cameras by next year

Vendor for cameras ID’d, policy is still being drafted.

Some Alaska State Troopers are expected to have body cameras by next year, but key details are still being worked out, according to an Alaska State Troopers spokesperson.

Back in August, it was announced that funding was s received to purchase body cameras for all troopers and Alaska Wildlife Troopers throughout the state, as cameras are soon to be considered standard equipment, said Austin McDaniel,Communications Director for Alaska State Troopers Department of Public Safety, in an email

“The Alaska Department of Public Safety is working to equip all Alaska State Troopers, Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Deputy Fire Marshals, Court Services Officers, and Village Public Safety Officers with body worn cameras in 2023,” McDaniel said.

McDaniel said the department currently has a goal of “limited deployment” of the body cameras by the beginning of early 2023 with the rest of the department following in mid 2023. McDaniel added that policy revolving the cameras is a work in progress.

“The policy governing the use and release of footage related to body worn cameras is still being drafted,” McDaniel said. “Once it is in final draft form we will be releasing it to the public and providing a mechanism for Alaskans to comment on the policy.”

In Juneau, police department regulations for body cameras state Juneau Police Department officers shall make sure their body cameras work at the start of their shift, to activate cameras during each “law enforcement public encounter” as long as activation does not interfere with someone’s safety. There are additional guidelines encouraging placement and positioning to ensure the camera is recording “evidentiary” footage and stipulating officers shall not edit, erase or duplicate footage among many other listed procedures

According to McDaniel, DPS has selected the cameras and vendor for purchasing and are in the process of securing the cameras along with all other necessary equipment. McDaniel said that along with providing cameras to officers, training will be issued, as well.

“We are also developing a training program to ensure all employees equipped with body worn cameras have received training on how to use the equipment,” McDaniel said.

• Contact reporter Jonson Kuhn at jonson.kuhn@juneauempire.com.

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