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TASER changes name in shift to software, services for police

06 April 2017

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.

One of the most dominant police body camera companies now says it wants to put body cams on every US police officer for free. A recent Pew Research Center study painted a stark portrait of 21st-century policing.

Police interest in body cameras has accelerated in the last few years following a number of high-profile deaths at the hands of police officers. Smith said that filming incidents in high-definition video can also serve as a way of protecting officers that fall under pressure for using their weapons.

In August 2016, the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association, which represents some 1,500 city officers, sued city administrators and tried to block a trial program that would have assigned body cameras to 100 police officers.

It would automate all the reporting tasks police officers spend time on during the day to day, allowing officer to spend more time focusing on the communities they serve.

Department officials can find more information on signing up here.

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The company that invented the Taser is rebranding as Axon, according to an announcement Wednesday.

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.

Based on Axon's experience so far, Smith said, the company expects about 80 percent of the police departments to keep using its cameras after a year, but the numbers work out favorably if only 25 to 30 percent renew. "Taser will remain one of our flagship products, but now as a single focused product brand for our suite of smart weapons". "Axon is the company we have become".

"We want to take all the risk off the table", Smith said, which he hopes will encourage police departments to take the offer.

Axon will begin trading at the Nasdaq under its new ticker, AAXN, at market open on Thursday, April 6. To join the live audio call, please dial 877-303-9126 (domestic) or 253-237-1156 (international). "You didn't know you needed it, but once you had it, you're like, I'm not giving this back".

Axon now employs around 110 people in Seattle, with plans to hire an additional 80 in the next year.

TASER changes name in shift to software, services for police