Body-camera maker offers 1-year trial to police agencies

An armed police officer rests his hand on a taser outside the Ministry of Defence in London Britain

Taser is offering free body cameras to all USA police for one year, the stun gun maker announced Wednesday, as well as a company name change to Axon.

We are changing our name from TASER to Axon to reflect the evolution of our company from a less-lethal weapons manufacturing company to a full solutions provider of cloud and mobile software, connected devices, wearable cameras, and now artificial intelligence.

"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", Smith said.

This move definitely isn't just about reducing paperwork, though.

Axon said 41 of 69 major USA cities are using, or have made a decision to use, body-camera technology - and 36 have chosen Axon.

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

The Seattle Police Department decided in November to purchase body cameras from the Taser unit for 850 officers.

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But financial cost has had an impact on adoption.

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

To underscore that change, Taser said it was taking on a new corporate name - Axon Enterprise, Inc. - drawn from the Axon cameras the company produces, rather than the controversial electric devices, which can deliver a painful shock to a small area or temporarily incapacitate someone.

Evidence.com is TASER's cloud-based service that stores the video recorded from the Axon body cameras.

"Our core goal is to have every officer in the world carry a TASER, deploy an Axon camera and be connected to the Axon network", the company said in its annual report previous year.

Explaining the name change for the Arizona-based company, CEO Rick Smith said Taser has great brand awareness, but the brand can also eclipse the other things - like body cameras - that the company provides. That's why Axon is giving every police officer in the United States access to its body-cam technology.

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