SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., May 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- TASER International, Inc. (Nasdaq: TASR, TASRW), a market leader in advanced less-lethal weapons, today announced two significant orders for its next generation TASER(R) X26 prior to its actual public release on May 30, 2003. The Pima County Sheriff's Department in Tucson, AZ and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in NC will respectively order 318 and 364 TASER X26s for all of their patrol members. The new TASER X26 debuts Friday, May 30 at www.TASERX26.com. "These orders right out of the gate from widely respected law enforcement agencies representing the East and West Coast validate our latest TASER technology and R&D investment," said Tom Smith, President of TASER International. "We anticipated great interest in the TASER X26 with its tremendous reduction in size and technology enhancements. However, to have two full deployments of the TASER X26 to all patrol officers prior to its formal introduction is a very positive sign that we have developed what the police officers have wanted -- a smaller TASER that can be carried by all officers on their belt. The enhanced technology implemented in the TASER X26 resulted in the introduction of a next generation TASER weapon and delivered exactly what the law enforcement community has wanted," continued Smith. "In the past year, the Pima County Sheriff's Department deployed 54 ADVANCED TASER ADVANCED TASER M26s," said Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik. "The ADVANCED TASER M26 provided our department a means of safely stopping violent and dangerous suspects without causing permanent injuries. As a result of field testing of the ADVANCED TASER M26 we have also seen a dramatic decrease in deputy related injuries. With the advent of the new TASER X26 Shaped Pulse technology and its smaller size, the Pima County Sheriff's Department decided to upgrade our entire patrol bureau to the TASER X26 to provide our deputies a 21st century tool for their law enforcement toolbox," said Dupnik. "The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is a recognized leader in the use of police technology," said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Darrel W. Stephens. "The TASER X26 is another step in that direction for the department by providing a tool that reduces the risk of injury to officers and suspects. It has proven to be a viable option during our testing under a variety of conditions," continued Stephens. The Pima County Sheriff's Department will order 318 TASER X26s including 700 Air Cartridges valued at $279,629 is subjected to pending approval by the Pima County Board of Supervisors. Funding will be paid by combination of county risk management funds with the majority of the purchase coming from seized drug money. Upon city council approval the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department will use federal grant money to order 364 TASER X26s and 770 Air Cartridges valued at $305,000. The launch of the next generation TASER X26 product line of TASER International's Electro-Muscular Disruption (EMD)(TM) weapons is on May 30, 2003. The TASER X26 is 60% smaller and lighter than the current ADVANCED TASER ADVANCED TASER M26, which is used by over 2,500 law enforcement agencies worldwide. The TASER X26 uses revolutionary Shaped Pulse(TM) technology to achieve even greater stopping power than the vaunted ADVANCED TASER M26 with the same margin of safety, but in a form factor that is less than half the size. The TASER X26 offers a host of new features that are updated daily on the new TASER X26 web site at www.TASERX26.com. "We designed the TASER X26 to ease the transition for our existing customer base. The TASER X26 will retail at U.S. $799.95 and use the same cartridges as the existing ADVANCED TASER M26," continued Smith. "Shaped Pulse technology will revolutionize the less-lethal weapons industry," Smith continued. "We have already applied for the first of several patents related to this product line, which we believe will be our strongest and broadest intellectual property," stated Smith. About TASER International, Inc. TASER International, Inc. (Nasdaq: TASR) provides advanced less-lethal weapons for use in the law enforcement, private security and personal defense markets. Our flagship ADVANCED TASER(R) product has reduced officer injuries by over 80% in the Orange County (FL) Sheriff's Office, and reduced suspect injuries by over 72% in the Phoenix (AZ) Police Department. The ADVANCED TASER is saving lives, reducing liability and creating safer jobs in over 2,500 law enforcement agencies worldwide. TASER International's new TASER X26 with Shaped Pulse(TM) technology debuts on May 30, 2003. Call 800-978-2737 or visit our website at www.TASER.com to learn more about the new standard in less-lethal weapons. For further information, please contact: Steve Tuttle, Director of Public Relations of TASER International, Inc., +1-480-905-2006. http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/79790X
SOURCE TASER International, Inc.