Behind the Badge: Manhunts often ‘95% boredom and 5% adrenaline rush’

Behind the Badge

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Helicopters in the sky – dogs on a leash – boots on the ground.

These are the components of a manhunt.

“It can be terrifying, it can be boring,” says Commander Scott Ryan, Hendersonville Police.

Williamson County Sheriff, Dusty Rhoades, says a manhunt is just like regular police work, “It’s 95% boredom and 5% adrenaline rush.”

News 2 was there as an army of law officers searched for Steven Wiggins who accused of savagely killing Dickson County Sergeant, Daniel Baker.

“It is terrifying. You don’t know what you are going into,” says Cheatham County’s Lt. Ken Miller. “You are going into the unknown.”

“On a manhunt, you think man, we’ve been out here 15 minutes, and had not found anything,” describes Rhoades. “And boom! Hey, I see him over here, and you get pumped up and get ready to catch the bad guy.”

And News 2 was up close and personal as Lawrence County deputies scoured a cornfield looking for a meth suspect who ran from the law.

“You never know what will happen and when it will happen,” says Ryan. “Every next tree someone could be waiting behind it. And you don’t know what their intentions are.”

Shane Petty is Chief Ranger for Tennessee State Parks. In his 30 years, he estimates he’s been on a thousand manhunts across the Volunteer State, “Its scars and scrapes and briars, and think about it at night. [I’d] rather not use light. Anytime I use lights the bad guy knows where I am. But with a bloodhound, they will run as fast as you can go. A bloodhound…they just run till they find the guy. They are a wide-open sniffing machine.”

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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