Axon, formerly known as TASER International, launched a new law enforcement initiative this month. The provider of connected law enforcement technologies announced a new program that will equip every police officer in the United States with a body camera–for free. Axon will also provide supporting hardware, software, data storage, training, and support to police departments free of cost for one year.
“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.”
While many police departments would like to deploy body cameras to their forces, budgetary concerns can make acquiring the technology difficult. However, a public that is growing increasingly concerned over police misconduct is beginning to demand measures such as body cameras. In addition to reassuring the public, Axon believes body cameras make officers’ lives easier.
“Cameras are the first of many steps toward a future where officers feel more confident and are freed from mundane report writing to focus more time on community policing,” said Smith. “The faster we can get this technology to officers who need it, the faster we can begin that process and free up officers’ time to get back into the community, building better relationships with the people they serve.”
Axon’s offer includes one Axon Body 2 camera per sworn officer, digital evidence data storage with an Evidence.com “Unlimited Pro” license, two camera mounts per officer, a docking station to securely upload body camera footage, and access to the full Axon Academy online training library.
Axon hopes this offer lets police departments see the benefits of body camera technology without having to invest any dollars in the program.