Chief Announces new Policy
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
To the Community of Anchorage,
The Anchorage Police Department has added a new section to its use of force policy in regards to officers shooting at moving vehicles. In recent years, the number of incidents of APD officers shooting at moving vehicles has increased. Naturally, these situations create high risk for public safety and the officers involved. More often than not, these types of events are on roadways, in neighborhoods, and places where other bystanders are around. There may also be passengers in the subject vehicles that may or may not be willing participants in the driver’s criminal behavior.
It is the goal of the Anchorage Police Department to protect public welfare and for every officer to go home safe every day.
In an effort to address this trend in our community, the Anchorage Police Department has researched how other law enforcement agencies around the country have reduced the number of officer shootings at moving vehicles. The department found that over the last decade many agencies have changed or created specific policies for shooting at moving vehicles and have since seen a decrease in the number of police shootings at moving vehicles.
With the hope of decreasing this trend within our department and creating the safest environment possible for the public and our officers, APD has added a new section to its policy specifically focused on shooting at or from moving vehicles.
A synopsis of the new policy is as follows: “Unless use of deadly force is otherwise justified, an officer shall not shoot at a moving vehicle if the vehicle is being used as the only weapon.”
The Anchorage Police Department is in the process of training its officers on the new policy and providing them with new tactics to complement the added policy. It is the mission of the Anchorage Police Department to protect the public welfare and the department believes this new policy will help us in fulfilling our mission. As our community changes and different trends in crime emerge, we will continually review our policies and actions to ensure we are being innovative and proactive in protecting our community and our officers in the best way possible.
We appreciate your support,
APD Chief of Police