SLC police chief defends decision to buy body cameras from Taser International

Posted at 9:19 PM, Mar 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-04 23:19:10-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City Police Department Chief Chris Burbank is standing behind his relationship with the company that provides his department with body cameras.

Burbank bought almost 300 body cameras for his officers from Taser International without going through the Salt Lake City Council’s budget process.

He said he has never taken money from Taser, owns no stock in the company and has no intention of working for Taser. But it’s Burbank’s past speaking engagements on behalf of Taser that many say gives the appearance he is working for the company.

“It certainly looks like that,” Burbank said. “I mean there’s no question about it. I won’t deny that at all. But positions I’ve taken on any product… it’s what I believe to be the right thing for the profession.”

Burbank said he doesn’t believe he’s done anything inappropriate. Charlie Luke, Salt Lake City Council, said such actions undermine the transparency of the budget process. A spokesperson for Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker said their office is reviewing city policy regarding the way city employees operate with commercial entities.