Our Wallets Are Getting Tased

Axon, formerly known as Taser International, is the manufacturer of tasers and body cameras worn by officers of the Fullerton Police Department.

In 2014, Felz and Hughes went before the City Council to beg for $650,534 over a five-year period to pay for body cameras from Taser International.  The actual cost will far exceed that amount, but that’s unfortunately typical of the false assurances made by those two.  You can read the agenda letter here where Dan Hughes did his best impression of a salesman for Taser International.  There was never any competitive bidding process for those body cameras, which is obscene given the large price tag.

Fast forward to this past June.  Gary Sirin of the Fullerton Police Department was sent to the Axon Accelerate Conference Fleece-A-Thon in Scottsdale, AZ.  We paid $899 for him to attend the conference, $580.87 for lodging at the Westin, and it appears another $363.19 for travel expenses.  I presume he was also on the clock and being paid for his time.

So what actually took place at this conference?  Axon did a write up themselves that talks about demonstrating new products and strategies to prevent disclosure of body camera footage to the public.  Once again, an insulting waste of City funds.

The Police Department apparently never got the memo about Fullerton having a fiscal crisis, or else they just don’t care.

I think it’s the latter, but in any event, these ridiculous conferences all over the United States and Canada on the City dime need to stop.

24 Replies to “Our Wallets Are Getting Tased”

  1. So we’re paying a company to record the public and then paying them to train public servants to deny the public records.

    Sure. Seems reasonable.

  2. A lot of people – myself included – favored equipping the FPD with body cameras, because of the value they would have in ending frivolous lawsuits against officers who didn’t do anything wrong, and shortening the careers of officers who did. If the company supplying them is not only overcharging but assisting in nullifying the actual benefit of the cameras in the first place then we need to get out of this contract ASAP. And pink slips need to start rolling.

  3. We pay a company over $700,000 for their products.
    Then they have the audacity to charge another $899 for the opportunity to sell us more of their products.

    And we’re stupid enough to pay up AND travel to Arizona for it.

  4. You all bitched and complained for years about how corrupt the FPD was and how they needed cameras so you could watch their every move. Now you’re complaining about the cost to cover the exact thing you begged for. What do you want? The officers to pay for the cameras out of their paychecks?

    1. The complaint seems to be about a needless sales pitch at a golf resort in another state. Are you going to defend that?

      1. Yes. It’s called a conference. Every business has them and employees attend them. I would complain if they sent the whole detective division.

        1. Maybe you should attend a reading comprehension conference.

          The idea that customers pay to attend vendor presentations is absurd. Go peddle that turd somewhere else.

    2. So if I needed my appendix taken out I’m not allowed to complain about being over-billed by the hospital?

      Typical cop/fireslug reaction. As in, who you going to call next time you need help?

      1. Bring it up at the next council meeting instead of complaining on a loser blog. Make an appointment with the chief and ask him to explain the expenses to you. Make some signs and go protest in front of the fire dept about their chairs and mugs.

  5. What’s up with the hotel bills? $1500 at the Hyatt?

    Chief Hughes cutting us a check first months after his departure? Must be a story there.

  6. “The Police Department apparently never got the memo about Fullerton having a fiscal crisis, or else they just don’t care.”

    They got the memo and they just don’t care. They are Hero and Deserve.

  7. What are you people complaining about now? This was money well spent!
    The body cameras were an invaluable asset to the department last fall when they were able to document the recording of the contact police had with the alleged intoxicated city manager Joe Felz. I was particularly impressed by the video recording documenting the fact that all officers on scene were in agreement that although Felz had been drinking his impairment did not rise to the level where an arrest was warranted. Their candid discussion of his level of impairment was what convinced me that Danny Hughes had done the right thing by giving him a ride home so that the “conspiracy theorists” would not accuse him of falsely arresting the city manager.

  8. I see the cameras were paid for by asset sized money. If I remember correctly that money could only be spent on items for the police department. City or business conferences are reason, while they may be trying to sell stuff you also gain information that can help you utilized items better. I like how this site calls out the bullshit that plagues our city but this one is stretching it a bit.

    1. So we spent over a thou sending a cop to a golf resort to learn how to use this stuff? Seems like we should have gotten training for all that money and kept the cop off the golf course on our dime.

    2. Read the agenda letter I linked to above. Felz/Hughes promised everybody the five year, $650K deal would include stuff like training.

      The travel and conference expenses came out of the General Fund, hence the 10279-6212 account.

      If the Axon people want to showcase new products, that’s fine, come to Fullerton and visit the customer like salesmen in the real world do. To pay them to see new products is like a car dealership charging an admission fee just to see new vehicles on the lot.

      Before somebody says this had nothing to do with body cameras, there’s still no reason for Fullerton to fork out cash to attend their conference. All costs of attending should have been included in that $650K deal.

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