Questions surround photo of deputy using smartphone while driving
Reported By Jamey Tucker, Video Journalist - bio | email
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. -
Questions surround a photograph of a Montgomery County Sheriff's deputy using a smartphone while driving.
Nashville's News 2 Facebook fans Michael Childress and Josh Suddath submitted the photo they say was taken July 19th on Briley Parkway.
In the picture, a deputy is seen holding and looking at a smartphone.
While it isn't clear what the deputy was doing, Assistant Deputy Sheriff Ted Denny told Nashville's News 2 the department has since looked into it.
"He was returning a phone call while on official business. He was not texting," said Denny. "In this situation the officer wasn't texting, but had he been, there wouldn't have been a law violated."
The state's no texting and driving law exempts state and local law enforcement while they are performing the duties of their job. Included in the exemption are firefighters, emergency workers and campus police officers.
"It's a tough law to enforce, we understand. It's on the books for public safety," explained Denny.
Law enforcement officers use laptop computers in the passenger seat, and radios to stay in contact with dispatchers.
Denny said the department also utilizes cell phones in some situations.
"If there's sensitive information about a call that we don't want broadcast, the dispatcher will put that information on a cell phone."
Denny added officers are trained to use multiple forms of communication while in the patrol car cockpit.