ANCHORAGE, Alaska—The trial of a former Anchorage police officer may be over, but it may be too late to avoid damage to the credibility of the police department.
At Mayor Dan Sullivan’s Wednesday afternoon press briefing, APD Chief Mark Mew described Tuesday's guilty verdict on Anthony Rollins as both a discredit and an accomplishment.
Mew reiterated over the course of the conference that Rollins is an anomaly and a bad apple.
“We have eliminated from our midst one of the most despicable crimes imagined,” said Mew. “A person who would use his badge, gun, uniform, handcuffs and the public trust that was bestowed upon him.”
Rollins was found guilty Tuesday of 18 out of 20 counts that include criminal use of a computer, official misconduct, and sexually assaulting five out of the six women who testified against him.
“The officers are all supportive and happy that justice was served,” said APD Sgt. Ken McCoy.
According to Mew, Rollins was severely disciplined for having sex while on duty in the past, but an investigation found there was no criminal activity until these new allegations came up.
Mew also addressed concerns that there were other officers who have had sex while on duty, telling the crowd that there were incidents in the past, but they were all consensual and those involved were disciplined.
Mew described Rollins as having a sociopathic personality and believes that's how he may have slipped through the extensive screening process to become an officer.
“A person who feels no guilt, the person who doesn’t have a moral compass, those people can lie without feeling internal stress. Those people can slip through screening processes,” said Mew.
“The process of being publicly scrutinized when you’re a victim in a case of this magnitude, it is really rewarding when you get an outcome that you want and you see him handcuffed and let out of the courtroom,” said Erin Patterson, lead advocate of Standing Together Against Rape (STAR).
Prosecutors said Rollins sexually assaulted women at the Mountain View substation. Mew said the department will be considering adding cameras to substations.
The department is also considering having more supervision over patrol officers and they now have new software that helps with internal investigations.