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The Bureau of Land Management announced Monday the agency will begin equipping their uniformed law enforcement rangers with body cameras.

The Bureau said in a news release the decision comes after agreeing to a five-year contract for the equipment and a cloud-based digital evidence management platform with the Scottsdale, Arizona, company Axon Enterprises.

“This will provide our dedicated law enforcement rangers and special agents with the technology and tools they need to accomplish our protection and investigative missions and I look forward to seeing its full implementation in the coming months,” said Eric A. Kriley, BLM director for law enforcement and security.

Alaska State Chief Ranger Kevin Andrews said having the right evidence management platform in place was the key step in being able to equip all of the Bureau’s uniformed law enforcement rangers with body cameras. 

“Body cameras have been in use, although not consistently, for several years now,” Andrews said. “Although many BLM law enforcement officers have used body worn cameras since 2012, with fulfillment of this contract, body cameras will be used by all uniformed officers. The new cameras that will be deployed to BLM personnel incorporate real-time situational awareness technology with live streaming capabilities to allow authorized users to view critical incidents happening in the field in real-time,” according to the press release. 

The news does not mean that all BLM law enforcement will have body cameras in use at all times, only that uniformed officers will. Nationwide, the Bureau has approximately 250 uniformed law enforcement rangers and 100 special agents.

Locally, the BLM’s Fairbanks District Office manages 19-million acres of public land and employs two uniformed law enforcement rangers and one special agent.

Contact staff writer Sam Ferrara at 459-7575.