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Aurora, Ill., Officials Recommend Axon Body Camera Contract

The city’s finance committee recently recommended a $6.2 million contract that would cover the Aurora Police Department's body-worn cameras, Tasers and accompanying software through 2028.

(TNS) — Aurora is looking at a five-year, $6.2 million contract for police body cameras and Tasers, a pact officials said would save the city about $2 million.

Aldermen on the City Council's Finance Committee recently recommended the new contract that would cover the Aurora Police Department's body-worn cameras, Tasers and accompanying software through 2028.

Lt. Bryan Handell, Central Services director at the department, said the contract would consolidate and replace the current one the city has with Axon Enterprises, which provides body-worn and squad car cameras to the department, along with the Tasers.

The new contract would consolidate three contracts the city has with Axon, two from earlier this year and one dating back to 2021, when the city first purchased body-worn cameras.

It would be one new contract, with the city paying through 2027 and covering the department through 2028, Handell said.

The city would get 328 new cameras, 150 new squad car cameras and 150 new Tasers. It also would get new software and licenses that cover them.

The software includes the My90 surveys that allow citizens to anonymously file input with the department. It also allows people to upload surveillance videos or photographs they might have from the scene of an incident police have been called to, Handell said.

"They can digitally submit those to us," he said.

The software includes license plate readers the department has already used to recover 43 stolen vehicles, and which have developed leads on 200 cases, Handell said.

The impetus for the new contract started with the availability of newer model Tasers that are more accurate and easier to handle, he said.

"What kind of kicked this off was the Tasers," Handell said. "Both city and police officials were impressed with the changes that were made."

Right now, 110 officers carry Tasers, which they have to be trained to be issued. Another 16 are being trained now to use them.

The first price for the new contract was $8.2 million, but by bundling the equipment, it went down to about $7 million, Handell said. From there, the city was able to negotiate the price down to $6.2 million, he said.

Finance Committee aldermen recommended the contract unanimously. It will go before the full council at the Sept. 5 Committee of the Whole meeting.

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