Axon Stock Rising, Offers Free Body Camera to U.S

Axon Stock Rising, Offers Free Body Camera to U.S. Police

The company also announced it was offering a free body camera and a year's worth of technical support to all police departments.

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

The trial is not open to agencies that Axon is already in talks with about purchasing body cameras. Two-thirds of cops are in favor of a body camera, according to a recent survey by Pew.

"Our belief is that a body camera is to a cop what a smartphone is to a civilian", Smith said.

Axon is hoping to get something out of the free offer, too.

Along with the cameras, every police department in the United States will be offer supplementary hardware and software that allows them to store unlimited data from the cameras for free for a year. Oh, also there's no promise the camera won't come with facial recognition software down the line but haha just ignore that potential dystopia.

There are a few exceptions to the deal.

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Department officials can find more information on signing up here. After that trial period, the police departments would either send back the cameras or buy them.

"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.

He's convinced it'll be worth it.

"It's a bet on whether they can turn this captive audience and first-mover advantage into a software and services revenue stream down the road", he said. Numerous nation's largest police departments - including New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago - have signed multi-million-dollar contracts with body camera companies. In the wake of Ferguson and the increased scrutiny it inspired nationwide, the White House announced a three-year $263 million grant program for local law enforcement body-cameras on December 1, 2014.

Although the company is most well known for their Taser device, they're also the leading seller of body cameras in the country. It brought in $65.6 million in net sales in 2016, up 85 percent from 2015. The company reported net sales of $268 million a year ago, up substantially from $197 million in revenue in 2015. Smith, the company's chief executive, told the Huffington Post that the Taser name "can be a little polarizing". The Taser is an electrical weapon that can stun a citizen when an officer is trying to apprehend instead of wounding them.

The announcement comes as part of a larger re-branding for Axon.

Axon plans to hire 80 people in Seattle in the next year, adding to the 110 employees here.

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