Memphis police head steps down from foundation

Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong
Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong
Click on the letter to enlarge and read.
Click on the letter to enlarge and read.

(WMC-TV) - The head of the Memphis Police Department has resigned as board chairman of the Memphis Police Foundation.

Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong cited an ongoing audit of the police department's Organized Crime Unit in a letter he sent last week announcing he was stepping down from the foundation - a nonprofit group founded under former Police Director Larry Godwin to raise funds for the department.

Armstrong said Monday that the foundation isn't a target of the audit.

"Due to the potential impact that this audit may have on the Memphis Police Department, myself and several other members of the board, it is in the best interest of the foundation that I resign at this time," he wrote.

Armstrong requested the audit of the Organized Crime Unit shortly after taking over the department in April, when Godwin retired.

Memphis Police Foundation board member Martavius Jones said the resignation, the reason, and the audit are no cause for concern.

"I didn't think there was any significance or any relevance to the foundation at all," Jones said.

Last week, after reports surfaced about 200,000 rounds of ammo missing at the training academy, and potential questions over an uncover training school, Armstrong noted the audit is ongoing.

Armstrong said he has just one expectation from the audit.

"I expect us to do whatever we have to do to get it right," he said.

Whatever the result, Jones believes Armstrong's absense will mean little.

"The fact that Director Armstrong is not going to be an active member of the board does not in any way at all diminish the purpose that the Memphis Police Foundation serves," he said.

Godwin is now deputy director of the state Department of Safety and Homeland Security.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. The AP contributed to this story.