Memphis Police Department Phasing Out COACT Units
MEMPHIS, TN - The way the Memphis Police Department fights crime is changing. Police Director Toney Armstrong says COACT units will be phased out. "COACT" stands for "community action". The units will be replaced with community policing initiatives.
One issue with the COACTs, Armstrong says, is the mission hasn't been the same among precinct commanders.
"Some precinct commanders saw the need for them, the good that it could do and really stressed it and pushed it, while we had others that didn't have that focus."Armstrong says the focus of the department is now towards community policing.
"I walked in the door when I became director saying I believe in community policing so that's the initiative I'm going to push very strongly."
While COACTs are designed to serve one particular neighborhood, community policing will serve the entire city.
"Our plan is to have one at each precinct for a total of nine with the ability to be deployed throughout the city," he tells abc24.com. "I'm hoping we can reach out and get some of these kids before they become a problem.""As it stands, we have 16 COACTs and only 8 of them are functional...COACTs haven't been properly maintained. Some had one person assigned to it. Some didn't have any."