Taser safety: New product Axeos can tell police if weapons are working properly, maker Aegis claims

Civil rights attorney Al Gerhardstein says he supports police using Tasers. But he has many concerns.

"We need to know the strength of the electricity going into the suspect," says Gerhardstein, who has sued police for their use of Tasers, as in the 2011 death of 18-year-old Everette Howard at the University of Cincinnati.

There is no required system or standard in place to test Tasers.

The company TASER International says results from their product can vary.

But police from all over the Tri-State were introduced Thursday to a $10,000 piece of equipment that promises to tell them if their Tasers are working right.

Ken Stethem says the Axeos will read a Taser's peak current, voltage and pulses per second.

"What it will tell an officer and an agency is that these weapons are operating reliably, properly and safely," said Stethem, founder and CEO of Aegis, the company that makes Axeos.

Former officer turned consultant Michael Leonesio said there are still many unknowns when it comes to electroshock weapons. This tool, he says, will arm police with knowledge.

“This is going to give law enforcement the power of knowledge, the ability to track weapons and track trends,” Leonesio said. “So it's going to give a lot of power back to law enforcement with this technology.

"It's not going to solve all problems. Deaths aren't going to stop. Injuries aren't going to stop." 

Aegis is beginning a pilot program in November.

Some Tri-State police departments may be the first to test this new equipment.

 

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