Mayor Strickland's Weekly Update


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If you’ve heard me say it once, you’ve heard me say it a million times: Population loss is our greatest challenge, and city government must take all the action it can -- driving down violent crime, for instance -- to reverse it. One such action debuted this week, and I wanted to spend some time telling you about it.

It’s a housing down payment assistance program that will be administered by our Division of Housing & Community Development. It provides up to $10,000 to aid in home purchases in a select set of ZIP Codes that represent neighborhoods in our city that need investment.

It’s actually one of three down payment assistance programs coordinated by HCD, but this one speaks to what I said on the campaign trail of incentivizing home purchases inside the core city. It’s our hope that, over time and with growth, this program will aid our concentrated goals to repopulate the core city.

To learn more, contact HCD at 576-7474.

Making progress: I have pledged to deliver an appointment for police director by the end of this month, and that pledge remains on track. We made progress this week, conducting a day’s worth of interviews of our recommended candidates on Wednesday.

Speaking of promises: I told you in my campaign for mayor and throughout the year that we would see the return of police service technicians (PSTs) through to completion. I’m happy to report that 19 of them recently started work, and you’ll see them out and about in the city working events such as minor traffic accidents. They help free up our officers to fight violent crime.

Congrats to MPD: Our police department was just notified by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies that it has received a four-year accreditation, the product of a rigorous outside review by CALEA. It’s a testament to the professionalism of Interim Director Michael Rallings and his men and women, and I want to publicly thank them for that.

Good to see y’all Tuesday night: I made a round of stops at National Night Out events throughout the city Tuesday; here are a few photos.

And yes, as police spokesman Louis Brownlee happened to share on Twitter, I put up a few shots on the basketball court at DeSoto Park in the French Fort neighborhood.  

Speaking of French Fort: Remember that hotel that’s been vacant for more than 20 years, the one that greets tens of thousands of drivers a day at an important gateway to our city? You’ll recall that we worked out a deal a few months back to have it demolished, and the bulk of that happened this week. Here are the before and after photos:

 Old Hotel

It’s a testament of what can be accomplished when we apply our energy and have a willingness to work together for the good of a great city.


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