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Company offers free body cameras to police officers

Posted at 7:23 PM, Apr 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-05 22:23:19-04

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Taser International Inc., known best for its stun guns, made a splash today with the announcement that it would give a free body camera to any police officer in the nation and free hardware, software, data storage, training and support to police departments for one year.

The company also announced it is changing its name to Axon.

The Los Angeles Police Department signed a contract with the company in 2016 to purchase roughly 7,000 body cameras for every patrol officer in the department.

Related: Police departments ditching body cams, cite high cost

The City Council approved the $59 million plan, and the department intends to issue all the cameras by the end of this year.

The LAPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Axon's move or if it could impact its contract with the company.

As of March 22, 2,794 cameras have been deployed to officers in the field, according to a recent LAPD report.

"We are going `all-in' to empower police officers to more safely and effectively do their jobs and drive important social change by making body cameras available to every officer in America," said Rick Smith, founder and CEO of Axon.

"We believe these cameras are more than just tools to protect communities and the officers who serve them.

They also hold the potential to change police work as we know it, by seamlessly collecting an impartial record and reducing the need for endless paperwork.

That's why we're giving this opportunity to every single police officer in America."