MPD fighting call for added OCU officer training - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

MPD fighting call for added OCU officer training

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SCLC President Rev. Dwight Montgomery is making recommendations for OCU officers to receive more training. SCLC President Rev. Dwight Montgomery is making recommendations for OCU officers to receive more training.
This is a copy of the letter Montgomery sent to Mayor Wharton. This is a copy of the letter Montgomery sent to Mayor Wharton.
Armstrong told us he appreciates the recommendations from SCLC and he will consider them. Armstrong told us he appreciates the recommendations from SCLC and he will consider them.
The recommendations come after Officer Martoiya Lang was shot and killed last month after serving a warrant. The recommendations come after Officer Martoiya Lang was shot and killed last month after serving a warrant.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) – Memphis police are fighting allegations that Organized Crime Unit officers need more training.

Reverend Dwight Montgomery, president of the Memphis chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, is making the recommendations.  He says, they are on the behalf of some Memphis police officers.

It all stems from a fatal police shooting last month.

Montgomery sent a letter to Mayor A C Wharton recommending that Memphis police officers get more training.

"These recommendations make it safer for officers not only for persons serving search warrants to be safe and for the citizens to be safe," Montgomery said.

The recommendations come after Officer Martoiya Lang with the Organized Crime Unit (OCU) was shot and killed last month after serving a drug related search warrant at a Memphis residence.

Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong says OCU served 469 search warrants, mostly drug related last year.

"We appreciate their input but you have to also understand those officers receive a great amount of training throughout the year," Armstrong said.

He says they are all reviewed, and that includes the incident that led to Officer Lang's death. 

Montgomery, who says his recommendations are coming from police officers who contacted him, believes the TACT unit should execute the search warrants.  But Armstrong says OCU does more and may be better trained to do that.

"You have to understand those officers with organized crime are trained to do high risk entry search warrants," stated Armstrong.

A spokesperson for Mayor A C Wharton told our crew if the police need money for training they can have it.

Mike Williams, head of the Memphis Police Association, believes the SCLC's letter is just politics.

"I think SCLC needs to stay in its lane," Williams said.  "We've got so many people trying to Monday morning quarterback the police department when they know nothing about police procedures and tactics," he added.

Armstrong told us he appreciates the recommendations from SCLC and he will consider them.  He says everyone can benefit from more training no matter what their job.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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