MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong promises to find out who's to blame for an incident at MPD's Mt. Moriah station that resulted in 19-year-old Michael Bell walking out of the precinct with an officer's gun.
"We'll deal with the individual responsible for that, hold them accountable," he said. "This is an isolated case, we'll treat it as an isolated case unless there's some evidence that we need to look at the program as a whole."
The Community Service Program allows convicted criminals, like bell, to perform court-ordered community service at police precincts.
Mike Williams, President of the Memphis Police Association, says although the Community Service Program has good intentions some officers don't like it.
"The premise behind it is good," he said, but, "a lot of officers think there's a security issue."
"In environments like that, officers want to feel safe and secure. They don't want to have to watch their back because somebody they just arrested may be at the precinct working off their penalty."
Williams says the theft of a police weapon by a community service worker didn't surprise him.
"Eventually it was going to happen. We're talking about individuals that have broken the law and putting them in a public precinct," Williams noted. "There are other things these guys can do. Highways need to be cleaned. Parks need to be cleaned. Put them anywhere but around law enforcement."