CENTERVILLE, Iowa -- One of the ways police departments have an extra set of eyes with their officers is through body cameras. And as one Centerville wife says, it also shows the true dangers her husband faces every day.
Ashley Teeter said watching WHO-TV’s story in January that featured footage from her husband’s body camera was a reality check.
Officials at the Centerville Police Department say a man on drugs charged after Officer Andrew Teeter on Jan. 20. Teeter and another officer involved were applauded by their department for using restraint after video footage captured on the officers’ body cameras were reviewed.
Ashley Teeter is now speaking out, saying she didn’t realize the danger her husband faces on a daily basis until she watched the video.
“Suddenly it’s like, wow. Any little thing could have changed that. That could have turned out extremely bad in so many ways,” she said.
Centerville Police Chief Thomas Demry said in the Jan. 20 incident, deadly force would have been justified.
“Words that are being said such as, ‘I’m going to kill you.’ It almost makes me feel like maybe he was just a little too patient,” Ashley Teeter said. “It’s still a reminder every time you see it. Yeah, he did great, but what if? That day could have been the last day I ever heard his voice.”
For the wife of an officer, that’s a sobering thought.
“Then you start thinking what would I have told my kids? Or how would everything around here change? It’s kind of numbing, you could say,” Ashley Teeter said.
Officer Teeter took part in a drug bust in February that also made the news. Ashley said it’s the “what if” in such scenarios that keep her on edge.
She said the cyanide that was found in a Centerville home during the bust made her mind spiral out of control.
“When they’re searching and they find these things, you think, well just how close were they to this? How dangerous was it to them? So then you start thinking the worst. Do we need to be getting rid of certain clothes? Do we need to not be touching kids? You always think the worst but hope for the best,” Ashley said.
The fear of not knowing what each day will bring -- that’s what Ashley says is the struggle of being a police officer’s wife.
“I found a phrase that said that being a police wife means that every day you have to let the other half of you leave, never knowing if they would actually come back. And I think that is probably the most true statement,” she said.
As a way to deal with the stress, Ashley shares her thoughts and concerns on an online blog called the Police Wife Stay at Home Mom Life.