Baltimore set to approve $5 million for replacement police Tasers
The first set of the electronic stun guns “have reached the end of their service life of five years”
Above: A police officer displays a Taser, an electronic stun weapon that fires small dart-like electrodes. (Brew file photo)
The city is poised to approve more than $5 million in spending for an Arizona company to provide the Baltimore Police Department with new Tasers.
“The first order of Tasers have reached their end of service life of five years,” the agency states in the agenda for next Wednesday’s Board of Estimates meeting.
The board is scheduled to vote on a $5,076,000 contract, to be awarded to Scottsdale-based Axon Enterprise Inc. The same company also supplies body cameras to the department.
• CORRECTION: Based on incorrect duplicate information provided by the Baltimore Bureau of Procurement (which was then repeated in the Board of Estimates 5/3/23 agenda), this story originally said the expenditure consisted of two contracts totaling $10 million.
The purchase of new electronic stun guns for city police will cover the period from October 2023 to October 2027, according to board documents.
The Taser program was mandated by a 2017 federal consent decree, which the city signed following the U.S. Justice Department finding that BPD engaged in “a pattern and practice” of unlawful stops, searches and arrests, particularly of Black residents, and used excessive force.
This video, from last October, shows BPD officers shooting a man with a Taser during an encounter that took place as police moved to clear an encampment of people who had been living under the Jones Falls Expressway, three blocks from City Hall.
The struck man was taken away in an ambulance and later released. Officers moved in after he had poured gasoline around his tent and lit a cigarette.