Taser International Chosen for Baltimore City Body Cameras

The Baltimore City Police Department, which concluded its pilot program in December, has selected Taser International to equip officers with body cameras.

As reported on WBAL:

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said at a news conference Tuesday that officers will be equipped with Taser International’s Axon body cameras, one of three types of cameras that were part of a pilot program involving 155 officers from three police districts that began in October.

“One mistake can cost the taxpayers millions,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “There’s a difference between urgency and haste, but I wanted to make sure that Baltimore did not end up with a boondoggle, wasting taxpayer money.”

As reported in The Baltimore Sun the bid is under review:

The city Board of Estimates voted 5-0 to accept the bid — the only one in the running — without knowing what the Scottsdale, Ariz., firm wants to charge. When the price was unsealed a few hours later, the bid was immediately sent to the city’s law department.

It was unclear whether the problem put Taser’s bid in jeopardy. Nine other bids were rejected by a panel of unnamed city officials before the cost of any of the proposals was unsealed.

Neither the cost of the Taser bid nor the results of the legal review will be made public for at least a week. Officials expect the body camera program to cost the city $8 million to $10 million per year.

Of the process the article reports:

Comptroller Joan M. Pratt said the steps that led to the board’s approval of the project followed city protocol. If the price Taser wants to charge is more than the city wants to pay, she said, the Rawlings-Blake administration can negotiate.

“That’s the process,” Pratt said. “They’re opened up technically to see if they meet the qualifications, and then the price proposals are opened later. You don’t want to be influenced by the price.”

For more information read the full articles on WBAL and The Baltimore Sun.

Previous coverage on Conduit Street.