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Valley Tech Company Taser Rebrands As Axon

Jimmy Jenkins/KJZZ
file | staff
Axon headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Scottsdale-based Taser International will now be known as Axon, after its line of body cameras.

Taser International came to prominence in the '90s selling stun guns to police departments. A decade later, the company added police body cameras to its production line. The Axon line of video cameras, and the subsequent file management and data storage subscriptions that come with them, has become so significant that Taser is changing its name to Axon.

Axon spokesman Steve Tuttle says the new name reflects the company’s expansion into what it calls digital evidence management.

“We’re not just a Taser weapon, we’re not just body cameras but we’re all those things that plug in with a network of apps, people and devices," Tuttle said.

The company also announced it was offering a free body camera and a year’s worth of technical support to all police departments. It was this kind of offer that caused Seattle-based competitor Vievu to sue over the Phoenix Police Department’s body camera contract. That bidding process is ongoing.

Tuttle defended the practice, saying police departments should only choose a product after being able to use it in the field.

"There’s nothing unfair about that, but some of these rules that are out there are arcane to select product based on paper," Tuttle said.

Axon employs almost 500 hundred people and is valued at more than $1 billion.

Jimmy Jenkins was a producer and senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2014 to 2021.