HPD to Pass on ‘Free’ Body Cameras

The company formerly known as Taser International is offering ‘free’ body cameras to every law enforcement officer in the country.

Arizona-based Axon says the giveaway is good for one year, and then police departments can either return the cameras free of charge, or begin paying for the equipment and storage.

"Clearly it’s a very clever marketing strategy," says Ray Hunt, president of the Houston Police Officers' Union.  "We've known all along the big expense with body cameras is storage.  The devices are the small expense; the storage is the huge expense."

"This is a great idea for someone who wants to test to see if they want body cameras or not, or to test the product," he says.  "I think what we're saying is we're going to put the product out there and we're confident you're going to choose us."

Hunt says its unlikely HPD will take the bait.

"HPD right now has 2,000 cameras out there and we're not deploying more until we make a decision whether to stick with this vendor or look at other sources."

HPD's body camera purchasing was suspended last year after batteries began dying out before the end of an officers' shift.

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