Scottsdale-based Taser changing name, offering free body-worn camera trials

If they keep the devices, they'll also pay roughly $80 a month per camera for data storage.

The trial offer was announced Wednesday as Taser International, which has used the Axon brand name for its growing Seattle-based body-camera business, changes its corporate name to Axon, which will encompass the Taser weapon business as well as body-camera hardware and software. "They also hold the potential to change police work as we know it".

TASER International began making electrical weapons 23 years ago in the hopes of saving lives by reducing the amount of times officers shot their deadly weapons.

This offer gives departments the chance to prove the benefits of body camera technology before investing taxpayer dollars in purchasing it. Procurement remains a cumbersome, uncertain process: Even as police work and technology has evolved, procurement can still rely on paperwork, presentations, and promises-not field testing by actual officers.

The company has made no secret of its ambitions beyond the Taser devices, with a spokesman telling The Post in 2015 that wearable technology represented the company's future.

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Smith and Axon envision a "new kind of police report" that can be drawn up by AI based on video and data collected from the cameras officers wear on the job, and eventually compile multimedia reports.

For additional information on how to sign up for the offer please visit: www.axon.com/offer.

The Boston association, citing a 2016 Rand Corp. study, said in a statement that "officers wearing body cameras are no less likely to use force but are 15 percent more likely to be assaulted than officers without cameras". Axon invites all providers of body cameras to join in this effort and provide free trial equipment for public safety agencies.

In regard to the name change, Smith said it more accurately reflects the company Axon has become. "We're building a community, this is just the enabler", Smith said.

The Axon name comes from the business unit that sells police body cameras, patrol auto cameras and the software for managing the hours of digital footage they generate.

  • Rita Burton