Specialized Police Units Are In The Spotlight, Again : Consider This from NPR The Memphis Police Department has disbanded its special SCORPION unit, after five of the unit's officers were involved in the death of Tyre Nichols. But similar units are still operating across the U.S.

Specialized police units are often created after a spike in crime, as officials come under pressure to do something about it. The units often operate with little oversight and develop a reputation for using aggressive tactics.

We speak with journalist Radley Balko, author of "Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces." He has studied police tactics and whether special units work to keep communities safe.

In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what's going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

Specialized Police Units Are In The Spotlight, Again

Specialized Police Units Are In The Spotlight, Again

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The Memphis Police Department has disbanded its SCORPION unit, after five of the unit's officers were involved in the death of Tyre Nichols. Brad Vest/Getty Images hide caption

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Brad Vest/Getty Images

The Memphis Police Department has disbanded its SCORPION unit, after five of the unit's officers were involved in the death of Tyre Nichols.

Brad Vest/Getty Images

The Memphis Police Department has disbanded its special SCORPION unit, after five of the unit's officers were involved in the death of Tyre Nichols. But similar units are still operating across the U.S.

Specialized police units are often created after a spike in crime, as officials come under pressure to do something about it. The units often operate with little oversight and develop a reputation for using aggressive tactics.

We speak with journalist Radley Balko, author of "Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces." He has studied police tactics and whether special units work to keep communities safe.

In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what's going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

This episode was produced by Brianna Scott and Seyma Bayram. It was edited by Sarah Handel and William Troop. Our executive producer is Sami Yenigun.