Fairfield: BOS approves $3.7 million police gear contract

Fairfield police car.

Fairfield police car.

File photo / File photo

FAIRFIELD — The Board of Selectman approved a decade-long, $3.7 million contract for body cameras, Tasers and other equipment for the police department on Monday.

In a presentation, Fairfield Director of Purchasing Gerald Foley said the contract with Axon Enterpize Inc. is called an officer safety plan, and has several components.

“The first point consists of body worn camera equipment and the second component is Taser equipment,” he said.

Foley said all officers will be equipped with body cameras as well as Signal Sidearm kits — a device which activates Axon cameras as soon as an officer draws their sidearm from its holster. Of the Tasers, he said the contract includes annual training and a certification program with Axon.

“The other component is the Axon Fleet 3 advanced plan, which will basically fit all the police vehicles with cameras,” he said, noting the cameras will face the front of the vehicle as well as the rear-interior of it.

Foley said the contract is set up for an initial acquisition of the equipment with annual Taser supplies, as well as training and certification for them. He said the body cameras will be restocked every 30 months, while the vehicle cameras will be replaced twice during the contract.

Asked by Selectman Tom Flynn if the contract came about via the normal request for proposal method, Foley said the products were very unique and he helped the police department source what companies could provide the service in a fully-bundled way.

“We elected to go with this company, Axon, because we felt they had the most comprehensive plan in place,” he said, later adding he could not find another company that can provide all the same services.

Chief Robert Kalamaras said the company has cornered the body camera and stun gun market, as will as with redaction technology for video recordings.

Fairfield CFO Jared Schmitt said the contract would be primarily paid for with $3.7 million set aside in American Rescue Plan Act funds. Foley said the contract would be paid out over five years with annual payments. with an initial payment of $741,000.

First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick said Town Attorney James Baldwin had reviewed the contract.

In response to a question from Flynn concerning the frequency of taser use, Kalamaras said the department “has several deployments a year.” He said every officer carries a Taser, meaning 110 are getting purchased with four cartridges for each.

joshua.labella@hearstmediact.com