Only on 5: Juvenile Court Investigation - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jason Miles

Only on 5: Juvenile Court Investigation

They're the way most cops communicate.  Radios they wear on their hips are much more than your average walkie-talkie.

"We're talking about a very expensive piece of equipment with a very specific purpose," says Shelby Co. Sheriff's Office spokesman Steve Shular.  "And that is to keep people safe," he adds.

However, someone in the detention area of Juvenile Court decided to sabotage at least six of them.

"I don't have any idea why this is being done," says Deputy Administrator Gary Cummings.  "But we have turned it over to the Sheriff's Department and they're looking in it," he adds.

A technician determined the radios had suffered much more than wear and tear when they were brought in for repairs.

"And in each case, the buttons have literally been pried off of the faceplate of the radios," says Shular.

Action News 5 was allowed access behind closed doors at Juvenile Court.  We could see where the radios are kept and all the empty spaces.

"The minimum cost to repair the radio is $400 and the maximum is $1500," says Cummings.

It takes $4000 to replace a radio.  That's money that comes out of the pockets of taxpayers.

"It's very disappointing," says Cummings.

Officers who use the radios and anyone with access to them are under suspicion as investigators try to determine who did it and why?

Possible charges for the person at fault include vandalism and destruction of property.  They could lose their job too.  Meantime, administrators say no one's safety is in jeopardy while the damaged radios are being fixed or replaced.

Click here to e-mail Jason Miles.

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