An Arizona company that has equipped thousands of law-enforcement officers with non-lethal weapons is now offering to provide a free body camera for every police officer in America.
Taser International, which changed its name to Axon on Wednesday, made the offer thinking it will improve police and citizen relations and bring transparency to law enforcement.
More than 200,000 officers already use the cameras, but there are about 765,000 more working in the United States who don’t have the cameras.
“This is a one-year trial offer with no gimmicks,” said Axon vice president Steve Tuttle. “It is just a matter of getting them in the hands for one year and seeing the value added.”
Tuttle said company officials have been busy ever since making the offer.
“It is much like having a smartphone,” Tuttle said. “You probably can’t live without one after you have gone that way.”
That’s how University of Florida Police Chief Frank Mackesy feels. His officers here share a half dozen cameras purchased from Axon two years ago.
“I have to say, after using them for two years, it has made me a believer,” Mackesy said.
Mackesy had already applied for a grant to get cameras for all his officers, so he is looking into the company’s new offer.