Mayor Strickland's Weekly Update


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Let me begin today by reiterating the statement I released a few hours ago:

This morning, I continue to be shocked and saddened by the loss of life in our country this week. I call on us to reject this violence -- all of it.

Let us all come together, in Memphis and beyond, and have a peaceful and thoughtful dialogue on the issues that confront us. A dialogue where ideas trump anger. And where compassion is paramount.

Our community stands on how we treat each other, how we treat our peace officers, and how we make strides to move forward -- together -- in healing.

I’m proud of the men and women of the Memphis Police Department, who risk their lives as they protect and serve each and every one of us daily.

Let’s continue to pray, think, and talk as we process this week’s events. As we move forward in the coming days, I ask everyone in our city to seek peace and understanding.

On residency requirements: You may have recently seen that the City Council is considering holding a referendum in November that would require new city employees to live inside the city of Memphis. Interim Police Director Michael Rallings and I oppose that, and we want you to know why.

We’re trying to build back our police force, which as of today hovers at just over 2,000 officers. We’re aggressively recruiting new officers, and the last thing we want to do is provide another hurdle in the way of that goal. Simply put: We think a new residency requirement would seriously impact our ability to recruit new officers.

You surely know by now that building our police force is a major priority of mine. We need to steadily build back toward around 2,400 officers as part of an overall strategy to fight crime.

I don’t fault the council members who are inclined to think this is a good idea, at least on the surface. Except that the practical effects of the requirement would hurt our efforts to provide for public safety. And I think you would agree that’s our No. 1 priority.

The council considers the residency issue on July 19.

As for police director: It’s been a while since I last updated you on the progress of our search for a permanent police director, so let me check back in on that. I have said for a while now that I hoped to hire a director by July or August, and we remain well on track for that.

We asked our search firm, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, to provide us with a list of candidates for our consideration. When we get that list, we’ll make it public.

Take the survey: You may have seen where a couple of weeks ago, I hosted a roundtable discussion as part of the National Week of Making. It’s part of my desire to be in tune with the needs of small businesses.

You can learn more at, where we encourage local makers to take the survey.

Save the date: Our Human Resources division is sponsoring a Career Carnival and Talent Reception Friday, Aug. 5, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Memphis Botanic Garden. You'll be able to match your skills and talents with city divisions and learn about a wide range of city services.

Look for more details in the coming weeks.

Reminder: You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter for real-time updates of what we’re up to at City Hall. And if you know someone who might want to get this email each week, ask them to sign up at


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