Behind the Badge: Body cameras remain important tool for officers

Behind the Badge

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – When a Spring Hill Police officer rescued people from a burning car, it was recorded on his body camera. When Spring Hill Police officers kicked in a door responding to a domestic call, involving a man and a gun, it was recorded on their body cameras.

Spring Hill Lieutenant, Justin Whitwell, says the body cameras are beneficial to everyone, “It’s safety of the officers, the victims, we can catch everything on camera…Nobody can come back and say this happened, that happened. It is right there on camera.”

Body cams are another tool on an officer’s tool belt. And Whitwell says they help to keep officers on their game because the cameras will capture everything.

In Gallatin, body cams are used extensively by the investigative division.

“It has let the investigators have an insight into the initial response of our officers,” says Gallatin PD Lieutenant Lamar Ballard, “You can see people’s demeanor and statements that people are giving you.”

Patrol officers are usually the first to arrive at most crime scenes, so officer body cams are scrutinized, often providing vital clues in a case.

“Just a small gesture from a witness or victim, where fingerprints might be captured on body cams that nobody remembered, and we can tell CSI to focus on this area,” says Ballard.

Lawrence County Sheriff, John Myers, says they are vital to have, “In this day and time you have to have them, especially in this line of work.”

Myers has been using recording devices since the ’90s. He believes body cameras are crucial for court and for keeping officers on their toes, “When you know that camera is on and recording all you do and say, it makes you a better deputy.”

In a special News 2 series, officers open up about the perils of their job and how they cope with danger on a daily basis.

You can check out more from Behind the Badge here.

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