Mayor Strickland's Weekly Update


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As a city this week, there is no denying that we have encountered trials. And yes, we have had some frank conversations.

Yet as this week closes, I am more optimistic about our shared future than I was even a week ago. And you should be, too.

Why? Well, think of the specific items that have been in the conversation this week. Topics like minority contracting, to make our economy work for all. Topics like neighborhood and community center programming, to share the rich benefits of our city for all.

These are things I want, too. These are things we campaigned on, and you sending me to City Hall tells me you want them, too.

Most importantly: These are things we’re already making progress on, just six months into my administration. MWBE contracting is up, community center programming has increased, and additional cultural sensitivity training for our police department is in the works.

That’s why I’m optimistic. That -- along with so many other items -- is why I know we’re making progress. That’s why I believe my administration’s work will enable and empower every single Memphian to enjoy the momentum of our city equally.

Let’s make Memphis a better place for all, and let’s do it together.

Police director candidates: A few moments ago, in a commitment to transparency, I released the names of our search firm’s recommended candidates for police director. You can find our announcement here.

The recommended candidates are:

  • Malik Aziz, deputy chief, Dallas Police Department
  • Branville Bard, chief of police and director of public safety, Philadelphia Housing Authority; former police inspector (lieutenant colonel), education and advanced training division of the Philadelphia Police Department
  • Richard Bash, deputy chief of police, Columbus (Ohio) Division of Police
  • Patrick Melvin, former chief of police, Salt River (Arizona) Police Department; chief of police/assistant city manager, Maricopa; commander in Phoenix Police Department
  • Michael Rallings, interim director, Memphis Police Department
  • Joseph Sullivan, chief inspector/commanding officer, Philadelphia Police Department

My expectation is to appoint a permanent police director sometime in August. Given that it is a personnel decision, I hope you’ll understand that I won’t be speaking much about it until that time.

Another thank you: On Monday, I sent an email to our employees thanking them for everything they did Sunday night. But I wanted to say that in front of the whole group today. I thank Interim Director Rallings and the men and women of MPD, and I also thank the men and women of Memphis Fire and everyone else who was either on duty or on standby Sunday night. Our employees make the City of Memphis great.

And we’re also incredibly appreciative of our partners in the Sheriff’s Office and the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Don’t forget: If you’re looking for a rewarding career in law enforcement, or you know someone who may be, please visit

Pardon our progress: If you’re Downtown tomorrow morning, you’ll want to avoid Second Street around Peabody Place, because it will be closed from 6 a.m. to about 2 p.m.

Then again, you may want to walk over and take a photo: The street will be closed because crews will be removing the pedestrian bridge that connects the parking garage on the west side of Second with the old Peabody Place mall on the east. Belz is hard at work preparing the building for ServiceMaster and its move Downtown, and this is part of that process -- or progress, if you will.


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