$12.5M contract for police body cameras could draw watchdogs
With Philadelphia officials buying thousands of body cameras for city cops, taxpayers would assume they would shop around for the best price.
Top city officials promised to do that last year, but instead they have signed a four-year, $12.5 million contract with Axon, the company formerly known as Taser International, to equip all 4,000 patrol officers with cameras — without giving competitors a chance to publicly bid, according to documents reviewed by WHYY.
Dozens of officers already have body cameras, under a pilot program in North Philadelphia that launched in late 2014.
Under the new deal, another 500 officers will get cameras every six months until every patrol officer citywide has one. It’s one of the biggest police department adoptions of the gadgets in the country, which made it a highly-coveted contract.