MPD Director Toney Armstrong Hits The Streets

MPD Director Toney Armstrong Hits The Streets

When Memphis Police were shot at last night in Berclair, the top cop of Memphis was there.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - When Memphis Police were shot at Wednesday night in Berclair, the top cop of Memphis was there.

Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong says he's evaluating how his department handles drug raids.

"I wanted to get first-hand knowledge as to the practices OCU is using in reference to executing search warrants," Armstrong said.

Armstrong says he was about ten houses away when officers serving a search warrant on the 800-block of North Perkins were shot at from inside. No one was hurt, and after a brief stand-off, three people surrendered.

"Certainly got a bird's eye view of what these guys go through," he said.

During a news conference on Thursday afternoon, Armstrong said his officers are encountering more and more danger, defending his officers in several officer-involved shootings.

"If our officers don't do their jobs, and don't do what they are trained to do, what's the trade-off? Another funeral procession around the city? The city mourning the death of another police officer?" Armstrong said.

Armstrong insists his officers are not trigger-happy, even after Officer Martoiya Lang was shot and killed while serving a drug warrant in mid-December.

Since the start of last year, 15 people have died in officer-involved shootings, including 2 so far this year.

"In each and every one of these cases we are recovering guns, not things that look like guns, not things we thought were guns, we are recovering fully loaded guns," he said.

Armstrong says he's shot 3 people during his career with MPD, something that weighs on him.

"It is something that you think about every single day for the rest of your career," he said.

Armstrong says he's constantly evaluating training methods and levels.

"It is time to up the training, we are never going to be at a point where we say we got, we are where we want to be, we are where we need to be," he said.
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