MILLERSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Officer-involved shootings in Ferguson, Missouri, and other cities around the nation have put the issue of body cameras in the spotlight.
The cameras worn by officers show what really happened in the heat of the moment, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Because of that, Millersville is the latest Middle Tennessee police department to arm its officers with body cameras.
Millersville is a small police department with less than 20 full-time officers, but every one of them is now equipped with a camera they’re ordered to activate any time they come into contact with the public.
The cameras have only been utilized for approximately two weeks, but Friday morning, they got a real test during a bomb threat at Millersville Elementary School.
A caller with a synthesized voice claimed to be inside Millersville Elementary School with a bomb.
News 2 cameras were outside documenting the children rush from the school to safety and parents frantically arriving to be with them.
The cameras showed us what was going on inside the school during the first moments of the emergency.
The alarms can be heard with a voice repeatedly saying, “Lock down.”
Children are hiding in darkened classrooms while Sumner County deputies and Millersville police officers moved cautiously down the hallways with their guns drawn.
You can feel the intensity, officers not knowing if there is an armed gunman inside or not.
They clear rooms, door to door, classroom by classroom, and you can hear the compassion they have for the children, some of whom are scared, while getting them out to safety. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is aware of the threat.
The police chief told News 2 the body cameras are a vital tool that will help settle citizen complaints and prosecute cases.
They were purchased with money available through a state grant.