Taser International, the company behind ever-present shock devices carried by law enforcement officers nationwide, announced Wednesday that it was changing its name as part of a shift toward focusing on body cameras worn by police.
As part of the change, Taser said it was taking on a new corporate name – Axon Enterprise. The new identity is drawn from the Axon cameras the company produces, rather than the highly effective, yet controversial electric devices, which can temporarily incapacitate someone.
As part of Wednesday’s announcement, the company said it planned to try to equip every police officer in the United States with a body camera, reported Chicago Tribune.
“We believe these cameras are more than just tools to protect communities and the officers who serve them,” Rick Smith, the company’s chief executive and founder, said in a statement. “They also hold the potential to change police work as we know it, by seamlessly collecting an impartial record and reducing the need for endless paperwork.”
Taser/Axon is extending a trial offer with their body camera. They will give every sworn officer a free camera along with online data storage, training, and support for a year. After that trial period, police departments can choose to return the camera or buy them.
Fear not friends in uniform, the company still plans to sell Tasers. Smith referred to them as “one of our flagship products.” According to the company, these devices are used by more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies in more than 100 countries. The vast majority of these agencies are in the United States. Due to their widespread use, Taser estimates they have saved more than 180,000 people from death or serious injury.