MICHAEL RUSSELL

Scottsdale company’s free body camera offer leaves police departments little choice

Apr 10, 2017, 12:30 PM | Updated: 12:54 pm
(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)...
(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

I don’t think it’s common knowledge to most of the nation that Scottsdale-based Taser is one of the biggest players in the police body camera game.

The company made some major headlines last week when it announced it was changing its name to Axon, which happens to be the name of their body cams. It’s a good move considering that the word Taser is used almost exclusively when discussing any electric shocking self-defense tool, just like Kleenex is used for any tissue that is needed to blow your nose.

But the biggest headlines came from the bold move of offering free body cams to any police departments that aren’t already on board with the technology.

It’s an offer for use of a body camera — about $400 — and one year of the company’s website and data storage, which costs between $15 and $90 per month.

Of course, once they agree to keep the hardware and technology, Axon gets paid.

It’s a page out of the drug dealer’s playbook: just a taste. But in this case, it’s for the greater good.

I think that this is a great idea. Don’t take my word for it. How about the head of the Arizona Department of Public Safety Frank Milstead? He joined Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes last week to show his unwavering support for body cameras.

He said he has a good reason for supporting the devices: statistics.

Time and time again, body camera video shows that the police officer was conducting himself or herself properly and doing the right things while being accused of doing the wrong things. Vindication.

Which leads me to a somewhat sobering question: Why would a police officer not want a body camera? Why would a police officer not want someone to record a traffic stop, an altercation a domestic violence call?

I always tell my kids there’s no reason to hide if you’re not doing anything wrong.

It looks like body cams are here to stay. There is going to be a learning curve as well as time for complete adoption, but the ball is definitely rolling.

Thanks to our very own Axon for eliminating one of the few excuses that police departments are giving to not try this technology.

Michael Russell

Mike Russell

Opinion: This walkout most likely will backfire on our teachers

Arizona teachers are refusing to recognize the optics of a walkout and don't seem to realize that it could alienate parents. There's a better way.
5 years ago
(Twitter Photo; Instagram Photo)...
Mike Russell

Opinion: Jay Feely’s prom photo with gun is dad’s right to make a joke

Over the weekend former Arizona Cardinals kicker Jay Feely posted a picture on social media of his daughter and her date before heading to prom. The social media trolls jumped all over it.
5 years ago
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)...
Mike Russell

Opinion: Federal bump stock ban should worry both sides of the aisle

Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to criminalize bump stocks. Mike Russell doesn't like them, but said the ban should worry both sides of the aisle.
5 years ago
Zachary Chakin holds up a sign as crowds of people participate in the March for Our Lives rally in ...
Mike Russell

Opinion: Takes on the past weekend’s three biggest stories

The first weekend of spring has sprung three huge news stories on us. Here’s Mike Russell's takes on this weekend’s big news hat trick.
5 years ago
(Pexels.com)...
Mike Russell

Opinion: HSUS’s accreditation drop should serve as wakeup call

The recent problems facing The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) should be a wakeup call for all of us that give to ANY charity.
5 years ago
(AP Photo/Adam Beam)...
Mike Russell

Opinion: Red for Ed duped Arizonans into backing politics, not teachers

Mike Russell writes that Arizonans were duped Wednesday when they wore red to support teachers. Instead, the unwittingly supported a political candidate.
5 years ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
Scottsdale company’s free body camera offer leaves police departments little choice