In case you needed tangible proof that the popular movement to strap cameras to cops is gaining momentum, the quarterly earnings report from camera manufacturer Taser’s got concrete numbers. It’s sales of cameras nearly tripled.
The numbers from Taser’s earnings release are pretty staggering:
Total AXON and EVIDENCE.com bookings were $US22.9 million in the first quarter of 2015, an increase of $US17.0 million, or 288% compared to $US5.9 million for the first quarter of 2014.
In other words, Taser is making a ton of money the recent “everybody needs a body camera” push which has been supported by everyone from the family of Mike Brown to US President Barack Obama to presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.
Note that these earnings are just 22 new deployments of the technology. If Obama’s plan to spend $US75 million of federal money on a body camera program ever gets off the ground — some version of that almost certainly will in the future — you should expect a lot of that money to land in Taser’s purse, since they’re basically the only manufacturer of any repute.
There’s a lot of evidence that cameras help reduce violent incidents between officers and civilians. They also help reduce complaints. As I noted last month, the technology needs to be deployed carefully to ensure that the tech isn’t just used to get cops off the hook.