Building Relations with the Community by Deputy Chief Michael Kerle Anchorage Police Department
While policing can easily be boiled down to simply enforcing the law, law enforcement is so much more than just policing; it’s about relationships – with people, with neighborhoods, with the good and challenging aspects of a community and society. If you read the paper, participate in Social Media, or watch the news, it’s no question that the relationships between police departments and the communities they serve are under a microscope, and rightfully so. A lot of people wonder if there is anything they can do to help solve some of the problems that exist in policing. On a national scale, there are cases of racial inequities in the use of force, the over policing of diverse and lower income neighborhoods, and concerns of bias in policing. All of these topics under scrutiny are long overdue for meaningful transformation. Some community members have experienced these issues first-hand, and some observe these issues on a national scale with a desire to see changes in the system. One way to facilitate change is to consider becoming a police officer. We would benefit as a department, and as a community, and be a signal to a national shift if there were more police officers who truly cared about the community and the development of alternative approaches to policing. The Anchorage police department is hiring.
Community policing is a collaboration between the police and the community that identifies and solves community challenges, and – you guessed it – builds relationships. The Anchorage Police Department assigns officers to specific beats (areas of the Municipality) where they can engage with community councils, identify specific challenges that are unique to the area, and find opportunities to build mutual familiarity with residents in their area. APD also regularly connects with the community at charitable, sporting, and social events in a non-policing capacity. While the police are no longer the sole guardians of law and order, all members of the community need to become active allies in the effort to enhance the safety and quality of neighborhoods. This community partnership is essential for establishing and maintaining mutual trust in Anchorage. Community policing expands police efforts to not only prevent and control crime, but to make our community stronger and more connected.
Another critical element to strengthening that connection with the people of Anchorage is having more officers that reflect the vibrant, diverse community we serve. Public safety is essential for creating a society in which everyone can flourish. The Anchorage Police Department is constantly seeking individuals with different backgrounds, who care about social justice and are willing to sacrifice for it. If you are community-orientated and committed to playing by the rules, becoming a police officer is one of the many ways to enact positive change in your hometown. We strive for a diverse applicant pool, and we are committed to recruiting members with different non-overlapping experiences, perspectives and cultural histories. Those differences are what make Anchorage, our home, the special place that it is. APD’s Recruitment Team can be found at job fairs and community events, and they love getting the chance to connect and answer any questions you might have. If you’ve never considered the prospect of becoming an Anchorage Police Officer, but want to learn more information about the process, the culture at APD, and the countless ways you can impact change – don’t hesitate to get in contact with us at JOINAPD.org.
We are committed to hiring officers who reflect our community while maintaining the high standards expected by our community. Some of these standards are:
• Unquestionable character and integrity • Free of cultural and ethnic bias • Strong ethical code in both personal and professional life • Desire to diligently protect and serve the community through courage, compassion, and respect • Personal conduct above reproach
As for minimum qualifications, here is what you need in order to apply:
• Applicant must be a citizen of the United States by the date of hire • High school diploma, GED, or equivalent • Associate̕s Degree or higher preferred • Must be 21 years of age by the date of hire • Must possess a valid State of Alaska Driver’s license by the time of hire • Must meet standards established by the Alaska Police Standards Council (APSC). For more information about APSC certification, go to dps.alaska.gov/apsc/ and the Anchorage Police Department regarding misdemeanor or felony convictions and use of controlled substances. • No felony convictions after reaching 18 years of age • No marijuana use within the past one year
The Anchorage Police Department believes that it is the differences in views and experiences that allow us as an organization to be more adaptive, resilient, and successful overall. In the field of law enforcement, diversity equates to better representation of and fostering trust among the members of the community. Established groups, such as law enforcement agencies, change their culture and broaden their horizons based on the personal relationships with varying groups representing the community.
The Anchorage Police Department is changed and made stronger by all people within our team. We would love to have you.
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