Albuquerque police lapel camera deal faces financial evaluation

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The contract between the city of Albuquerque and Taser International, the maker of lapel cameras for officers, will go before the City Council Finance Committee on Monday night. The deal was supposed to be finalized in March but was referred back to the finance committee. This would allow the Albuquerque Police Department to purchase 2,000 new lapel cameras.

The new deal with Taser International comes with some controversy. This is the same company that former APD Chief Ray Schultz brokered the city’s first deal with prior to going to work for the company.

In 2013, KRQE News 13 first exposed that Schultz made a $2 million deal knowing he’d soon be working for Taser. The state auditor later discovered that Schultz accepted other freebies from Taser while still chief at APD. City officials told KRQE News 13 that the Inspector General will be looking into the new contract to avoid any problems like before.

According to a December 2016 memo from the mayor’s office to the city council, the five-year proposed contract between the city and Taser would cost nearly $4.5 million.

A search was conducted for a new lapel camera provider by a committee including members from APD and other agencies. The final selection was between Taser and another company called Utility Associates. Taser came out ahead in the evaluation prompting the recommendation from the mayor’s office.

The finance council meeting will take place at 5 p.m. on Monday.

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