The Juneau Police Department, March 20, 2020. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

The Juneau Police Department, March 20, 2020. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

Juneau Police Department releases regulations and operations manual

The move comes after a push for transparency from the public.

The Juneau Police Department released its regulations and operations manual Monday afternoon, after several inquiries about those policies from members of the public and the Assembly of the City and Borough of Juneau.

“Our hope is by posting these policies online, it will enhance transparency, promote accountability and answer questions the community may have,” wrote JPD Lt. Krag Campbell in a news release. “The Regulations and Operations Manual is made up of policies used to assist JPD employees as they accomplish tasks in their day-to-day job duties while serving the community.”

The requests for additional transparency came after the death of George Floyd in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department. Police departments across the country are under intense scrutiny for their policies and procedures, particularly with the issues of things like chokeholds, racial discrimination and lethal force policies. JPD officers, including Chief Ed Mercer, have attended rallies and expressed support for the Black Lives Matter, but previously had kept much of the JPD’s operations manual classified as a matter of policy.

Mercer released the JPD’s specific use of force policy weeks ago as a result of inquiries by the public and news organizations, but the full manual was only released Monday.

The manual covers topics such as use of force policy, arrest procedures, and hiring procedures. It also details rules for things like body cameras, domestic violence, and commuting with individuals with physical or mental impairments.

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“As the Regulations and Operations Manual is updated, or new polices are developed, they will be posted online,” Campbell said.

Some parts of the manual are redacted due to state statute, Campbell said.

“As it relates to the police department, this statue prevents the release of information such as medical health records, information concerning juveniles, police techniques that could be used to circumvent the law, or information that would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial, or reasonably endanger the life or safety of a person,” Campbell said. “For example, releasing information on how police officers respond to bank alarms or to active shooter situations, could aid individuals wanting to commit these crimes and increase risks to the public and police officers.”

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or lockett@juneauempire.com.

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