West Memphis police sergeant resigns over handling of scandal
‘Shift Mom’ Jordan walks away from WMPD for ‘appalling’ investigation
By JOHN RECH
One West Memphis Police of_cer resigned last week and is making her reasons public. Quitting cost her _nancially but it won’t cost her a career in law enforcement. The “Shift Mom,” former WMPD patrol Sgt. Jennifer Jordan, accepted a lower- paying offer with the Wynne Police Department as she left behind a pile of personal grief.
Jordan served the city for 11 years, nine months and was decorated along the way. She advanced to the rank of Sergeant, earned a life saving award, worked as the crisis intervention team of_cer, found _t for the _rst community outreach coordinator, and conducted investigations as both a criminal detective and a narcotics detective. All that came to a frustrating end last week when she tendered her written resignation.
Jordan claimed the mishandling of the nearly seven month suspension and investigation into
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sexual harassment allegations against Major Stacy Allen demonstrated disarray in the department. Allen was suspended September 25 and remained off duty with pay. Through it all Jordan said the police department turned backs on the multiple victims who forwarded complaints against the major.
“The lack of support from the police department and the city was astounding,” said Jordan. “From the beginning the victims have been treated like they did something wrong for speaking out. The handling of this has been appalling from the length of time its been taking to the hiring and firing of the first investigator who was disqualified.”
Jordan claimed incompetence from top down in the city. She said rampant gossip from Chief Eddie West and others violated required personnel confidence and undermined the Allen investigation.
“The problems start with the mayor being inexperienced in human resource matters,” said Jordan. “The chief displays an attitude of continual support for the major going to lunch with him, saying weekly that he is returning and actively dismissing allegations while the independent investigation is still pending. There is no leadership in this from the mayor down.”
The Evening Times had reported both a luncheon between West and Allen in Marion and broke the news the first investigator hired by Mayor Marco Mc-Clendon, Greg Martin, had himself been arrested on felony charges in pulling a gun on a Turrell city Councilmen while police chief there. The West Memphis city spokesman claimed the arrest happened farther back than their background check, but a simple internet search revealed the incident. The Evening Times was also copied on an email from another WMPD employee to the mayor regarding the information circulating in the department about a planned return to duty for Allen.
City Council was updated once on the issue over the seven month period, after the city separated the independent investigator Martin. Councilman Tracy Catt said the new investigator, attorney Florence Johnson of Memphis, had billed the city for $11,000.
Jordan expressed regrets and release in her formal resignation letter.
“I am deeply saddened by the behavior and lack of empathy for the current victims and undoubtedly future victims,” wrote Jordan. “I am grieving the loss of my police family and the ideals that I held so strongly regarding the title of WMPD police officer. I am proud of the things that I accomplished and the amazing men and women I have had the privilege of serving with. It has truly been an honor.”