Body-camera maker has financial ties to police chiefs

WAVY-TV

Taser International, the stun-gun maker emerging as a leading supplier of police body cameras, has cultivated financial ties to police chiefs whose departments have bought the recording devices, raising conflict-of-interest questions.

Taser is covering airfare and hotels for police chiefs who speak at promotional conferences and is hiring recently retired chiefs as consultants, sometimes months after their cities signed contracts with the company. Taser is planning to send two to speak in Australia and the United Arab Emirates in March at events during which they will address potential customers.

The relationships raise questions about whether chiefs are acting objectively in their dealings with Taser, whose contracts for cameras and video storage can cost millions.

As the police chief in Fort Worth, Texas, pushed for signing a contract with Taser before a company quarterly sales deadline, he wrote a Taser representative in an email, « Someone should give me a raise. »

The market for wearable cameras…

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