TASER changes name in shift to software, services for police

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.

"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", Rick Smith, founder and CEO of Axon, said in a news release. Axon will also provide supporting hardware, software, data storage, training, and support to police departments, free of cost for one year. But a lengthy process that often comes with contracts with public agencies and a desire to reach more departments, quicker, is driving Axon.

"For every dollar that we spend to put this out in the hand of customers, we see several dollars in long-term opportunity when they get to the end of the year" of free service, he said.

The Seattle Police Department chose Axon as as its supplier of body-worn video cameras and its cloud-based digital evidence management platform last fall.

One Axon Body 2 camera per sworn officer.

Smith told The Huffington Post that the company's body cam pledge and name change is a way to move on from the negative connotations of Tasers. Many will work on Axon's expanding artificial intelligence technology, which the company hopes will one day significantly reduce the paperwork officers have to complete.

"We're not just a Taser weapon, we're not just body cameras but we're all those things that plug in with a network of apps, people and devices", Tuttle said. Taser will now be the name of exclusively the one product. To join the live audio call, please dial 877-303-9126 (domestic) or 253-237-1156 (international).

Axon defines itself as "the global leader in connected law enforcement technologies".

"When I say 'Taser, ' you immediately think about stun guns, electrical weapons".

Axon now employs around 110 people in Seattle, with plans to hire an additional 80 in the next year.

  • Wendy Palmer