SCORPION unit’s experience, supervision questioned amid Memphis police staffing woes
From The Tennessean:
‘You definitely should have a supervisor in the car with them’
The problem of inexperienced officers filling the rosters of specialized task forces is not unique to Memphis, said Jillian Snider, a lecturer at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York and a policy director for public policy nonprofit R Street. Snider spent a decade as a member of NYPD’s Anti-Crime Unit, another controversial specialized task force, before retiring in 2020.
Snider said after the death of Eric Garner at the hands of New York police in 2014, veteran officers began avoiding the once-prestigious specialized units.
“Once the public, very reasonably, started scrutinizing policing to this extent, more veteran officers would prefer not to go on to these special units,” Snider said. “Because then they’re proactively going out and targeting people, they are engaging in more dangerous encounters.”
Snider said she served six years in the NYPD before she joined the Anti-Crime Unit, and had to complete a variety of training before she could do so. Even then, she was always directly supervised by veteran officers until she was a seasoned veteran herself. The SCORPION team seemed to lack that level of oversight. “When you’re going to have a team that’s comprised of junior officers like that, you definitely should have a supervisor in the car with them,” Snider said…