The world has been thrown into a tailspin at the hands of COVID-19.
As CEO, I’ve turned my thoughts to Axon’s responsibility to help fight this pandemic. We’ve all seen businesses close operations out of the well-being and care for others. Conversely, this is exactly why we remain open. As you know, Axon’s mission is to Protect Life with hardware and software designed to modernize public safety. We stand with first responders who put their lives on the line to help our communities.
With that in mind, I challenged our team to think of ways we could help protect the lives of officers as they help protect our communities. We rallied around one question: If social distancing is the best method in defeating this thing, what can we do for those who are out there every day on the front lines? The answer was found in how officers gather evidence, which is a daily occurrence that typically involves one-to-one interaction with people. As of today, in the interest of public health, Axon is providing global access to the full feature set of Axon Citizen, at no cost this year, to every agency that is not currently using the digital evidence platform.
Axon Citizen allows officers and dispatchers to send a link by email or text to anyone who has a digital file to share. This file is then immediately stored and ready for review and sharing on Axon Evidence (evidence.com), with zero in-person interaction needed.
Below you’ll find more information about these tools, plus a few helpful Q&A’s. We thank all first responders for your efforts during this critical time in history and are honored to partner with you.
P.S. I recently hosted a webinar with more information about this program. Check out the recording below.
About the offer
Any public safety or public health agency not already on our mobile platform who could benefit from using Axon Citizen for Officers and Axon Citizen for Communities during their response to the COVID-19 pandemic is eligible to receive free access to these tools. This includes law enforcement agencies, Fire/EMS, hospitals and other entities engaged in front-line efforts to reduce the spread of the virus. The offer is open both to Axon customers not already on the mobile platform and non-customers, and is available in any country where Axon currently does business.
For existing Axon customers with an Axon Evidence Basic or Pro license, you already have access to Axon Citizen for Officers. Setup instructions and video tutorials are available on our Citizen Resources page
Agencies who have an Axon Evidence Lite license, or who are not current Axon customers, should complete the contact form on this page to sign up. From there, a member of the Axon team will be in touch to set up your access.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do Citizen for Officers and Citizen for Communities help protect officers from COVID-19 exposure?
Today, officers may interact with members of the public to collect digital evidence like photos, videos or other data. But during the current period of “social distancing,” these interactions for non-urgent evidence collection can put officers and citizens at risk. With Citizen for Officers, officers can instead send community members a personalized link via text message, from Axon Evidence or the Axon Capture mobile app. This link gives citizens the ability to securely upload their own digital evidence, like a photo or video they’ve captured with their phone. This data can be reviewed and managed by an agency in the secure Axon Evidence platform. With Citizen for Communities, agencies are able to create public evidence submission portals where the public can submit evidence during both large-scale and smaller, day-to-day events.
Have agencies successfully used Citizen during this crisis?
Yes, our public safety partners have shared various policies, which include sending Citizen links to victims of more routine incidents, like breaking and entering or minor auto accidents. Agencies are taking reports by phone, and then sending the community member a Citizen link so they can upload their own digital evidence directly to the agency. Officers in the field can use their mobile devices and the Axon Capture app to gather digital evidence while maintaining a safe distance from others.
Who is eligible to use Axon Citizen as part of their COVID-19 response?
Any public safety or public health entity can reach out if they feel Axon Citizen will help their social distancing efforts while fighting the spread of the virus. While the product was designed primarily for a law enforcement audience responsible for collecting digital evidence, we encourage other entities to learn more about the application and think of innovative new use cases. Axon reserves the right to grant access on a discretionary basis, depending on the circumstance.
How soon after I sign up can I expect to begin using Axon Citizen?
Existing Axon customers with Basic or Pro licenses already have access to Citizen for Officers and can begin using it right away, and will have access to Citizen for Communities the week of March 30th. Existing Axon customers who have Evidence Lite licenses should complete the contact form on this page to initiate access.
For non-customers, timing may depend on the number of requests that Axon receives, as well as the agency/entity type. Once you have completed the contact form and Axon establishes contact with you, we will keep you informed about timing.
If I am a first-time, Basic or Lite license customer, how long will I have free access to Citizen for Officers and Citizen for Communities?
First-time, Basic and Lite license customers will have access to Citizen at no cost through the end of 2020. Due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic timeframe, we may choose to extend that should the situation require (but we hope for everyone’s health and safety that this crisis does not go on that long).
If I am a first time Axon Customer, or currently have an Axon Evidence Lite license, do I get access to all the features of Axon Evidence Basic during this program?
No, the Axon Evidence license related to this program provides a restricted set of functionality and storage limitations for your agency. During this crisis, we are committed to ensuring that the evidence that is captured through Axon Citizen can be easily managed, stored, and shared by your agency on the Axon Evidence platform. The broader set of digital evidence management features available in Axon Evidence, like the storage of body-worn camera video and powerful redaction tools, are not included in this program.
Why would an agency sign up for OSP 7+ if Axon Citizen for Communities is free?
Axon Citizen for Communities is one of many benefits under OSP 7+, and Axon remains excited to deliver all of the benefits of OSP 7+ to new and existing customers. Customers who sign up receive access to a large suite of tools beyond Axon Citizen for Communities, including Axon Records, which includes the Axon Standards use of force reporting tool, Axon Performance, Axon Aware, and Redaction Assistant, as well as Axon’s full suite of digital evidence management tools, and the TASER 7 and Axon Body 3.
If I am an existing Citizen customer, can I get the service for free for the remainder of 2020?
First, thank you for being an Axon customer and for being tech forward at your agency. There will be no change to your contract or to your level of service as a result of this program. This emergency access program is intended to boost social distancing measures that are critically important to slowing the spread of disease and minimizing officer exposure. This is not a sales promotion or a discount — it is emergency widespread access to the system to maximize public safety measures at a time of crisis. This program does not imply discounts, retroactive or prospective, to existing service contracts.
What happens to my data if I do not plan to use Citizen beyond the end of 2020?
If you are not an existing Axon customer and decide not to move forward with Citizen beyond the initial COVID-19 response period, you will still have access to the data but with limited functionality. You will also be able to export the data to your own evidence storage platform should you need to.
Existing Axon customers with a Pro Axon Evidence license will continue to have access to Citizen for Officers after 2020, and customers with OSP 7+ licenses will continue to have access to both Citizen for Officers and Citizen for Communities. All data generated in 2020 will be available in your agency’s Axon Evidence account according to your agency’s retention policies.
What security protocols exist to ensure that data is securely transmitted to Axon Evidence?
All data uploaded to Axon Evidence, whether via Citizen or other means, is encrypted in transit and at rest. We have a robust information security program that encompasses all of our people, products and practices, and Citizen was designed to uphold the same security requirements as all products in the Axon network. For more information, visit axon.com/trust.
When will this offer be available outside of the United States & Canada?
Citizen will be available for all countries outside of the United States & Canada starting April 2nd 2020.
How do I get started?
Complete the contact form on this page and refer to the “Program Details” section for information on initial steps.