ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska’s two largest police agencies do not have any current plans to equip their officers with body cameras, officials said.

Officers with the Anchorage Police Department and Alaska State Troopers are not outfitted with body cameras despite the tool becoming increasingly common in law enforcement agencies in the state and across the country, KTUU-TV reported Thursday.

Anchorage police spokesperson Renee Oistad said the department did not have any updates on if the technology will be adopted. The department is focusing on developing its in-car camera systems, she said.

State troopers will not be equipped with the video-recording devices anytime soon, said Jonathon Taylor, state Department of Public Safety spokesman.

“Given fiscal constraints, our ongoing efforts to recruit and retain more troopers and to fill existing vacancies, issuing body-worn cameras is not being considered at this time,” Taylor said.

Both agencies were involved in deadly shootings last weekend.

Anchorage police fatally shot Zander Clark, 20, after he charged at an officer while wielding a knife March 24, police said.

In the Kenai Peninsula Borough community of Nikolaevsk, a trooper fatally shot Nikolai Yakunin, 42, the same day. Yakunin was killed after he injured a trooper, authorities said.

While Anchorage police don’t have body cameras, other agencies and groups in the city have equipped their personnel with the technology.

Campus police for the University of Alaska Anchorage are using body cameras, and the Anchorage Safety Patrol has outfitted its officers with GoPro cameras.

The safety patrol records interactions as officers pick up inebriated people, said Jason Cates, a supervisor for the agency.

Safety ambassadors and maintenance workers for the Anchorage Downtown Partnership have been using body cameras for the past six months. The cameras are used to document interactions and as a training tool, said Jamie Boring, the organization’s executive director.


Information from: KTUU-TV, http://www.ktuu.com

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