After the deadly shooting involving an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, MO, interest in police body-mounted cameras by Taser has increased. In fact, stock prices for the Scottsdale-based company have jumped nearly 30 percent since the Aug. 9 shooting.
"Here we have the Ferguson incident and I'll tell you right now, that's a flash point for America," said Steve Tuttle, a spokesperson for the company.
Tuttle says there have been departments all over the country, including here in the Valley, that are showing interest in purchasing their wearable Axom cameras.
"I'm convinced 100 percent that the cameras are worth their weight in gold," said Chief Daniel Garcia with the Phoenix Police Department. Garcia said Phoenix police are planning to purchase more of the cameras after an officer-involved shooting left a mentally-ill woman dead on Aug. 14.
The cameras can be worn on a pair of sunglasses, clipped to the collar or even worn on a pocket. Though they are continuously on, they don't record video until an officer starts the camera. The device then is able to save the recording 30 seconds prior to when the officer started the camera.
Tuttle says studies show use of deadly force and complaints drop dramatically when departments use the technology.
"The issue today is uncertainty. If we knew what was going on a lot of this wouldn't be occurring. I think (the key) is that we provide a technology that we're able to record an entire contact when a police officer talks to a suspect - from the beginning to the end, all the way to the courtroom," said Tuttle.
The Axom cameras start at $399 and can go up to $599.
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