Police Assert 'Shoot to Kill' is Not Policy
Chief talks to KTVA about protocol
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage Police Department's top officer says he wants the public to know APD does not have a “shoot to kill” policy.
Police Chief Mark Mew’s words come on the heels of two fatal shootings by APD officers – shootings that have many in the community questioning how officers deal with aggressive and armed people.
Chief Mark Mew says the policy for officers who have decided they must shoot their weapons is to go for the center of mass – usually the torso. While often lethal, Mew says the idea is to shoot to stop the danger - not, shoot to kill.
"A lot of it is communication. A lot of what I have heard from folks is we didn't know how the police worked, we didn't know what to expect from the police. So, I guess, I am trying to help there,” said Mew.
Chief Mew also says APD never decides if a shooting involving one of its officers is justified or legal – that is always left up to the state Office of Special Prosecutions.