Law enforcement and community leaders join Axon in shared commitment
Axon to fund third-party research on gun-related deaths between police and the public to better track data and inform solutions
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Oct. 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Axon (Nasdaq: AXON), the global public safety technology leader, announced this week at the annual International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) conference in Dallas, that it is joining forces with law enforcement and community leaders in a moonshot goal to cut gun-related deaths between police and the public in half by 2033.
This moonshot goal serves "to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone," as U.S. President John F. Kennedy put it 60 years ago when he rallied the nation behind a mission to put a human on the moon.
Achievement won't be measured in miles traveled, but in lives saved. Last year in the U.S., 1,118 people — 1,054 civilians and 64 officers — lost their lives in gun-related incidents between police and the public, and 2022 is on the same trajectory, according to leading data sources.(1) While these losses reflect a complex set of issues, the impact on families and loved ones, communities, and our country as a whole is felt deeply and daily.
"We are calling on our own employees, leaders of the law enforcement profession, community organizations, technology companies, elected officials and others to support and achieve this goal," Axon CEO and Founder Rick Smith says. "This is not Axon's moonshot. This is our moonshot. And we all have a role to play in achieving this goal."
Recent roundtables and discussions with law enforcement, community and municipal leaders have surfaced broad-based support for this moonshot goal — including the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the African American Mayors Association (AAMA), the Major County Sheriffs of America (MCSA), the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) and the National Policing Institute among others.
- "We applaud Axon for bringing this coalition together. Police officers put their lives at risk everyday serving their communities. We are committed to working with Axon and all the groups involved to find new ways to keep our officers and the public safe," says Patrick Yoes, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police.
- "We choose to do the hard things in life because we can and because we must. And make no mistake, this is a hard, charged, seemingly insurmountable thing. But it is vital to the sanctity of life. And so we must keep trying, keep talking, keep innovating, and keep moving forward, together," says Phyllis Dickerson, CEO of the African American Mayors Association. "I look forward to joining Axon and others in critical discussions as we look for solutions that ensure justice for all, while enacting prevention and intervention measures that keep our communities safe."
- "Having served as chief of two major city police departments — San Jose and now Dallas — I have seen first-hand the devastating impact that gun-related deaths have on our officers and our communities," says Dallas Police Chief Edgardo (Eddie) Garcia. "We were proud to be the host agency of the IACP Annual Conference and Exposition in our city this week, though the days prior were some of the most tragic for law enforcement in recent memory. My fellow chiefs and I are inspired by this moonshot goal and hopeful that it will bring both policing and community leaders together to solve such a critical issue."
- "The Major County Sheriffs of America stands united with Axon and our law enforcement partners across the country to achieve this ambitious goal to reduce gun-related deaths involving the police and public by 50%," says MCSA President and Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma. "This goal will only be accomplished by working together and using the best practices and tools available in order to create secure communities. When both law enforcement and the public can go home safe at the end of every day, we have succeeded at our mission."
- "Members of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) stand with Axon and all the community and law enforcement partners in this mission to make our profession safer and more effective," says NOBLE President Brenda Goss Andrews. "This is long overdue and when achieved will help to ensure we have safe and more secure communities."
Recognizing that the solution goes beyond technology, Axon will continue to convene roundtables to facilitate open discussions and perspective-sharing, seeking to drive research-based, and responsible solutions.
Axon has also enlisted the Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR), a private nonprofit research organization, to track gun-related deaths between police and the public. IIR will thoroughly research, collect, and analyze information related to each incident. Axon is funding the research with the expectation that more data will help provide insights into common contributing factors to gun-related deaths between police and the public, and better inform solutions. Data collection will include all shooting deaths in all U.S. jurisdictions involving officers and civilians, where an officer or a civilian died. IIR will release quarterly and annual reports. The first report featuring data from 2022 will be released in mid-2023.
Axon is committed to investing in better technology, training and data that will help achieve better outcomes and deepen trust between law enforcement and the communities they protect and serve. Axon intends to invest in accelerated advancements in non-lethal and de-escalation tools and training; next-generation cameras and evidence capture devices; real-time response and communications tools; community impact, engagement and feedback solutions; and more comprehensive and actionable use of force and response to resistance reporting.
(1) Sources: Officer Down Memorial Page annual fallen officer statistics and Washington Post police shootings database
Axon is a technology leader in global public safety. Our moonshot goal is to cut gun-related deaths between police and the public by 50% before 2033. Axon is building the public safety operating system of the future by integrating a suite of hardware devices and cloud software solutions that lead modern policing. Axon's suite includes TASER energy devices, body-worn cameras, in-car cameras, cloud-hosted digital evidence management solutions, productivity software and real-time operations capabilities. Axon's growing global customer base includes first responders across international, federal, state and local law enforcement, fire, corrections and emergency medical services, as well as the justice sector, commercial enterprises and consumers.
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