Miami-Dade Police want to equip 2,000 officers with newly redesigned Tasers believed to be safer, faster and deliver a stronger burst of energy towards their target.
MDPD wants to re-sign a 5-year contract with Axon, the company formerly known as Taser International. Department officials asked county commissioners to approve the $6.5 million deal before the current contract expires in June.
The Taser 7, used last year, was redesigned to be more effective, according to Axon. They claim the upgraded model has more pulses per second and a cartridge system that causes the darts "to fly straighter and faster with nearly twice the kinetic energy for better connection to the target."
Deputy Mayor Maurice Kemp stated that "competition is not possible at this time."
During a recent meeting, Commissioner Sally Heyman called Tasers "a good product" but said she was troubled by the no-bid contract. Heyman also said, "there is no negotiation, either we do business with them, or we don't have Tasers. So I have a concern about that."
Those against using Tasers claim the devices can be lethal.
A 2017 Reuters investigation revealed 1,081 cases in which someone died after being shocked. Miami-Dade is listed on the Reuter's map posted on Twitter.