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Phoenix-area company debuts new body cameras with major improvements

(Photo credit Taser International)

Police officers around the country will soon have access to more durable body cameras.

Durability is one of the improvements that is part of the Axon Flex 2 body-worn camera from Scottsdale-based Taser International. It is much more rugged and can withstand being run over by a car.

“We’ve done some major improvements that are going to be really important for gaining a new perspective for law enforcement,” said Steve Tuttle, Vice President of Strategic Communications for Taser International.

Another improvement is field of view. The original camera had a 75 degree range, and now it is being increased to 120 degrees.

“Now we’re getting [to see] all the things that are in the peripheral vision that a cop could see, or [they] may not see under stress,” said Tuttle.

The Axon Flex 2 can also connect to Wi-Fi. There are improved streaming capabilities if an officer wants to watch the video on their cell phone. Tuttle said that capability can help them in the field.

“Sometimes they can see things in the playback of a crime and say, ‘Hey, I missed this, but my camera didn’t,’” Tuttle said.

The camer features better audio recording and improved low light video. The camera can also record up to two minutes of buffer video before an officer starts an ‘event’ recording. When that recording starts, the officer captures both audio and video, but Tuttle said the recording of that buffer video can show what led up to an incident.

“[It] can give them even more context about an event,” Tuttle said.

Taser is taking pre-orders for the cameras now and hopes to start shipping them to police departments around the country by December. Taser provides cameras to cities around the country in addition to local cities like Scottsdale, Chandler, Peoria and Surprise.

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