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Scottsdale-based Axon extending free police body camera trial to Canada

FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2014 file photo, a Los Angeles police officer demonstrates the use of a body camera. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

PHOENIX — Scottsdale-based Axon has announced it would extend a program that offers free one-year body camera trials to police departments in Canada.

Steve Tuttle, the company’s international vice president of strategic communications, said four Canadian agencies already use body cameras.

“They’re about a year or two behind the U.S. in terms of playing catch-up,” he said. “They seem to be a little behind the rest of the world when it comes to the body-worn cameras.”

Tuttle said police departments north of the border want to use the cameras, but some do not have the funding to pay for them.

“What we want to do is make that trial offer there so that the funding really doesn’t delay them,” he said. “There’s no risk. If they don’t want the equipment, they simply return it at no charge.”

Axon, formerly known as Taser International, announced the trials in April. Departments receive hardware, software, data storage, training and support as part of the program.

If a department should opt to keep the cameras after the trial, it will have to pay full price. The company did not say how much the cameras and related equipment cost.

KTAR News’ Atlan Hassard contributed to this report.

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