MPD TACT Unit ordered to stand down, commanders reassigned - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

MPD TACT Unit ordered to stand down, commanders reassigned

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From left to right: Major Charles Morris, Lt. Earnest Greenleaf, and Lt. Webb Prince of Memphis Police From left to right: Major Charles Morris, Lt. Earnest Greenleaf, and Lt. Webb Prince of Memphis Police
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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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DOWNTOWN MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

FOX13 News law enforcement sources say certain procedures were not followed when two Memphis Police TACT Unit officers were shot by a fugitive during an Oct. 15 barricade situation in South Memphis.

Police launched an internal reassessment of the TACT Unit. Three TACT Unit commanders -- Major Charles Morris, Lt. Earnest Greenleaf, and Lt. Webb Prince -- have been reassigned to other divisions within the police department.

Major Morris was hired in July 1985, Lt. Greenleaf in February 1990, and Lt. Prince in March 1993.

"We are going to re-evaluate all of our policies and procedures and how things are handled within the TACT Unit," said Memphis Police spokeswoman Sgt. Karen Rudolph.

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MPD is now reviewing the TACT Unit's staffing, training tactics, and day-to-day operations.

"It's hard to assess yourself, so we're relying on other people with a background in the Tact Unit and other officers and our command staff are all reviewing the assessment," Sgt. Rudolph said.

FOX13 News was given an inside look at TACT Unit training three years ago. Getting on the team is a highly selective process. Only seven percent of applicants make it. The specialized officers respond to the most dangerous calls.

According to MPD, the TACT Unit handles barricade situations, hostage rescues, counterterrorism and high-risk felony apprehensions, just like the one where the two team members were shot.

"Any time you hear of an assessment or a review or any kind of unit or policy everyone assumes it's a bad thing," Sgt. Rudolph said. "But it's not. When you assess something you are making sure you are doing the best you can possibly can do to deliver the services to the citizens that they need."

The assessment could last two or three weeks and will answer several questions, Sgt. Rudolph added.

"You had two officers that were shot on the scene," she said. "Are we doing things right? Could we have done something better? Is there something else that we could implement?"

While the TACT Unit is on the sidelines, MPD has asked the Shelby County Sheriff's Office to step in and handle high-risk calls within the city. SCSO already handled one call this weekend.

There is also a concurrent investigation on what took place Oct. 15, a standard internal investigation when there is a police-related shooting.

In 2005 the MPD Organized Crime Unit had to stand down for a time after a series of shootings. The department reassessed polices and made changes in the wake of the OCU stand down.

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