ANCHORAGE - A report by an international law enforcement group on the Anchorage Police Department's response to the Anthony Rollins rape scandal concludes that APD is taking serious steps to prevent any future sexual misconduct by an officer.
Consultants for the International Association of Chiefs of Police interviewed about 30 Anchorage police personnel and reviewed the department's internal affairs procedures and plans for background checks on new hires - all in order to assess the fallout from the convictions of former officer Anthony Rollins for sexual assaulting women in his custody.
"It is our judgment that the leadership of the Anchorage Police Department has recognized the consequences of the Rollins event, has aggressively embraced a commitment to mitigate future acts of sexual misconduct and other forms of police behavior that undermine public trust,” said consultant Rick Brown, a former officer in the Pennsylvania State Police.
The $30,000 report endorses the department's 10-point plan to reduce the potential for future sexual misconduct, including installation of video cameras in all squad cars and police substations.
But it also pushes for the department to do more.
"The Oakland Police Department uses necktie-mounted cameras that are very high quality. The recordings are outstanding, the audio and the video,” Brown said.
"There's nothing in the recommendations we don't agree with," said Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew. "Many of the things they suggest we're actually sort of doing but we're doing them informally, in an ad hoc way."
Some of the recommendations involve spending new money. And the city faces a reported $30 million budget deficit. But everyone involved seems to be saying the changes will happen.
“Regardless of what the funding is for the police department, these are things that need to and will have to be put into place,” said Assembly Chair Ernie Hall.
The budget is tight, but everyone agrees the city can't afford another Anthony Rollins.
Mew told the assembly that not every violation of the department's zero-tolerance policy on sexual misconduct would necessarily result in termination.
For example, consensual sex while off-duty but in a police facility probably would not merit termination.
But he said some sort of discipline will be imposed for every infraction.