NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Every single officer in the Metro Nashville Police Department was purchased a special life jacket and throw bag to help keep them safe near water and help them assist others who need to be rescued.
Distribution of the tools started Wednesday with the hope that all officers would be given the life jacket and throw bag within a few weeks.
"Recently with all of the different storms and weather-related incidents, as well as our waterways that are around Nashville, officers are finding themselves in and around water more often than not," lieutenant Jason Proctor with the Metro Nashville Police Department said. "We were seeing the fire department putting on their PFDs, their personal flotation devices, and yet we didn't have anything. Now we're able to equip our officers, so we can go assist in those efforts."
In addition to the new gear, officers will also go through additional training specific to water awareness and safety that is being worked out by the fire department and the emergency contingency section.
"The nature of an officer is we want to help people," Proctor said. "We're out there on these waterways or right on the river banks, and positioned there, we could find ourselves in the water very easily."
In February of 2017, Officer Eric Mumaw was helping a woman who was attempting to take her own life in the Cumberland River. He was able to save her, but lost his own life in the process.
The hope is situations like that can be avoided in the future, allowing officers to have the necessary gear to both protect others and themselves.