TRUCKEE — The Truckee Police Department will soon have a new officer camera system.
Last week the Truckee Town Council approved Town Manager Tony Lashbrook to sign a five-year contract with Taser International for the Axon Flex on-officer video cameras and supporting operating system for $130,225.30.
This replaces the three-year, $81,083.03 Axon Flex contract that the town council unanimously approved last month, due to Teaser International changing its pricing plans to include a five-year contract that offers more favorable terms to the Truckee Police Department (TPD).
Detective Sgt. Jason Litchie said the major reason behind extending the contract was due to Taser International offering a complete hardware upgrade for free to the department at the start of the sixth year, an estimated savings of about $30,000 to $40,000. Another reason is a slight reduction in up-front costs to cover the hardware purchase.
Axon Flex will replace TPD’s 12-year-old in-car camera system, which is limited by its stationary cameras with a line of sight extending only to a patrol vehicle’s headlights, and a 50-foot vehicle audio range, which becomes an issue should the officer step out of the vehicle and go beyond that range, according to a previous report.
“The system, when it was created and put out, was excellent, but it’s been eclipsed by new technology,” Litchie said at last month’s town council meeting.
The Axon Flex is a body camera that provides the officer’s point of view with different upper-body (shoulder or above) mounting options, unlimited audio range and human-eye vision.
The department plans to purchase 28 cameras — which includes spares and replacements —and all support products using state Citizens Option for Public Safety (COPS) grant funding.
Margaret Morgan is a staff writer for the Sierra Sun, a sister publication of The Union.