When the Sitka Assembly met on Tuesday (1-11-22), it did not discuss body cameras for the Sitka Police Department, as reported on Raven News earlier that morning.
The discussion item was sponsored by Assembly members Rebecca Himschoot and Kevin Mosher. They’d hoped to consider asking the Police and Fire Commission to research options for equipping local officers with body cameras and look into funding options for the equipment.
But before the meeting, Himschoot pulled the item from the agenda. In an interview with KCAW on Tuesday, Himschoot said, “I need to do a little more research before I put it in front of the Assembly.”
In a memo to the Assembly, the sponsors cite statistics from an Anchorage Daily News Article: 80 percent of large police departments nationally use body cameras, and by 2016, around half of all police departments in the US were using them.
Last fall, Anchorage voters approved a tax to fund body cameras for city police. And they’re not the only community to do so. Many communities in Alaska have equipped their police officers with body cameras at one time or another, including Skagway, Petersburg, Ketchikan, Wrangell, and Juneau, among others.