Anchorage legal settlement sets August deadline to get all police officers outfitted with body cameras

close up of a police car, it reads "Emergency 911."
An Anchorage Police Department vehicle, photographed in Downtown Anchorage on Thursday, August 10, 2023. (Dev Hardikar/Alaska Public Media)

The city of Anchorage has reached a legal settlement with the organization that sued it over the lengthy amount of time it took to outfit police officers with body cameras. 

The Alaska Black Caucus, a local advocacy group, filed a lawsuit against the city in April of last year over the failure to put body-worn cameras on police officers, two years after voters approved a $1.8 million dollar tax hike for their purchase and implementation. 

In a settlement filed Friday in state Superior Court, the city of Anchorage and the Alaska Black Caucus agreed to set a deadline of Aug. 1 of this year to require all patrol officers to wear body cameras when in uniform and on duty. 

Alaska Black Caucus President Celeste Hodge-Growden said the group couldn’t be happier with the firm deadline.

“That’s all we ever wanted, was to get what we voted for and that was to outfit our officers with body cams,” Hodge-Growden said.

Additionally, the settlement says, the city of Anchorage will pay the Alaska Black Caucus $5,000 and cover its legal costs from the suit. 

Hodge-Growden said her organization is now focused on making sure access to the body-camera footage is easy and available for the public. The current policy gives the police chief the sole authority to preemptively release footage of critical incidents like police shootings before an investigation wraps up. 

“The fact that it’s up to one individual to decide what footage is going to be released, if it’s going to be released, having to secure through a records request and the amount of money it would cost to get the footage,” Hodge-Growden said. “It’s just mind boggling to us.”

After months of negotiations with the police union, APD finalized their body-worn camera policy in May of last year, and began outfitting officers with cameras in mid-November. 

APD spokeswoman Renee Oistad said in an email Monday that 176 officers have been currently outfitted with cameras. She said the department expects all officers to be equipped with cameras by Aug. 1.

Editors note: This story has been updated with comments from the Anchorage Police Department.

Wesley Early covers Anchorage life and city politics for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at and follow him on X at @wesley_early. Read more about Wesley here.

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