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Police Offer Public Chance to See Policies on Use of Force

Published On: Feb 13 2014 11:35:17 PM AKST

It was a response to concerns raised by community members.


The Anchorage Police Department is taking a new approach to making one of its policies more transparent to the public.

APD's use of force policy will be made public after a review of the rules was conducted by the Anchorage Community Police Relations Task Force as directed by Mayor Dan Sullivan.

"This kind of communication is so important because we want our police force to be effective," Sullivan said. "They can't be effective if the public doesn't understand what their mission is and how they do it and when there are incidents that we get out in the community and explain what exactly happened."

After months of reviewing the procedures, the task force recommended the policy be published so the public understands what procedures APD is following when it has to use force.

APD Chief Mark Mew says it's a way to improve the department's relationship with the community.

"We don't want to be an adversarial force, we want to have the public's trust," Mew said.

The ACPRTF Chair, Reverend Dr. William Greene, says he feels it's a good move both for the public and APD.

"The community is what controls our city," Greene said. "I encourage all people in the community to get involved, know your rights, where you stand and cooperate with the law enforcement agency."

Chief Mew says it's the first time APD has published the use of force policy online, but it's a trend that's becoming popular around the country.

"We decided after a year or two of answering a lot of questions we can answer questions over and over, why not just make the policies available and let the people read them," Mew said.