Mayor Strickland's Weekly Update

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To start this week’s update to you, I want to address -- even though I’m limited in what I can say -- the officer-involved fatal shooting Wednesday.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is in charge of the inquiry, and it’s important that we let the facts fully emerge before jumping to any conclusions. We mourn the loss of life that took place, and we are reminded of the dangers our police officers face on a daily basis.

We will share updates as we can, but the TBI will be the lead agency in charge of both investigation and communication.

On the road: I spent two days in Nashville this week visiting with members of the legislature and Gov. Bill Haslam's administration, and I want to share a few updates from that trip.

I can’t remember how many hands I shook. We made it a point to visit not only with our legislators from Memphis and Shelby County, but with legislators from all corners of Tennessee as well as key members of the administration. As always, I was happy to tell them about all the good things going on here in our corner of the state.

And as they’ll find out from me in the coming years, I was also happy to tell legislators and members of the administration what actions we think they could take to make Memphis better. Such as:

  • Helping us establish residential PILOTs to combat blight and encourage core-city growth
  • Stiffening penalties for violent crime, and making multiple domestic violence offenses felonies rather than misdemeanors
  • Maintaining the Hall income tax, which brings us $15 million a year -- almost 2.5 percent of our budget -- to support essential city government services.

And the list goes on.

Some of these items are my own, but most of the multi-page “wish list” we have presented legislators was in conjunction with Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell.

I’m especially grateful to the local legislators who showed me around and introduced me on Monday. And I appreciate the warm ovations I received in both the House and the Senate chambers. So many important decisions that affect the future of our city are made at the Capitol, and I look forward to a good working relationship with the General Assembly and the governor’s administration.

FYI: Our team has been thrilled to hear so much positive feedback about our occasional email updates, so we decided to do them on Fridays of each week. If you know someone who may want these weekly updates, send them to this link. They can subscribe at the bottom of the page.

A safer Binghampton: Earlier this week, I was proud to stand beside District Attorney General Amy Weirich and members of the Multi-Agency Gang Unit to take firm action against two violent gangs that have been terrorizing Binghampton for far too long.

The declaration of these gangs as nuisances and the creation of a safety zone by Judge Larry Potter bans gang members from associating in public and offers members a route to voluntarily leave the gang.

It will make Binghampton safer.

This is the partnership I said was coming on New Year’s Day, when I was sworn in as your mayor. In conjunction with Gen. Weirich and the Multi-Agency Gang Unit, we are targeting and removing gang leaders from our streets.

Bottom line: We will not tolerate those who threaten the safety of our citizens.

Good work at the animal shelter: I want to leave you with some good news from Memphis Animal Services. We’re all aware of some of the challenges they’ve faced in recent years, and I continue to search for a permanent director.

But plenty of good happens there every single day. When a dog named Bruno was lost in Midtown this month, Adrian Dest and Darrell Hudson of MAS found him and returned him safely. On a Facebook page called “Help Find Bruno,” Adrian, Darrell and supervisor Glenn Andrews were praised:  “A HUGE Shout out to Memphis Animal Services ACO's Adrian and Darrel. They caught Bruno!!!! Bruno is now safe! Thank you everyone! A special Thank You to Glenn Andrews also!”

Thank you from the mayor’s office, too.


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