Resident gives $7,000 for Bath Township to buy 7 body pack cameras for police officers

BATH TOWNSHIP, Ohio - Bath Township police officers are now using body pack cameras thanks to a sizeable donation from a longtime resident.

A senior citizen, who asked police to keep her name private, gave $7,000 to the department to buy seven units and a charging station.

"The resident said she had been so pleased with the Bath Police and Fire Departments over her lifetime that she wanted to give back to the departments," said Chief Mike McNeely.

Officers have been using the cameras for about a month and McNeely said evidence from the recordings help protect both citizens and officers.

He showed various videos to NewsChannel5, including officers, with their guns drawn, searching a foreclosed home for burglars, and another incident which captured emotional statements from drivers during a suspected road rage incident.

Officer Eric Shaffer doesn't feel like he's under extra scrutiny when he wears one of the cameras.

"This doesn't make me nervous to wear. If you're doing the right thing and you're treating people the way they're supposed to be treated, you have the situation like I've been trained to do. The camera shouldn't be an issue for me to wear," Shaffer said.

If allegations of excessive force are made against an officer, a body pack video could sort out the truth.

"All eyes are on us all the time. Now we have an eye on you," Shaffer added.

The issue of officer body pack cameras has become a national topic following the controversial shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

According to multiple reports, Ferguson's police chief had ordered body pack cameras, but they had not been deployed to officers prior to the shooting.

"I certainly would think it would answer a lot of questions that remain unanswered right now if there was video available," McNeely said.

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