Weekly Update


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I’ll admit it: I’m a data junkie.

That’s why we’re so reliant on our Office of Performance Management for its constant review of data that shows how we’re delivering city services to you. And that’s why our monthly meeting where we review that data with city leaders is always a highlight.

Yet we must remember that the data represents something real. It represents how we’re striving, every single day, to make life better for every single Memphian. It also represents thousands of City of Memphis employees who come to work every day to meet that mission.

So today, I wanted to celebrate a success a little differently. Yes, we’re continuing to make major progress in answering your 911 calls. As of January, we’re answering them in an average of 13.2 seconds -- another new record, and down from 59.7 seconds when we took office. And while it has been a major initiative of mine to address staffing and process issues there, the credit should go to our 911 center crew.

These hard-working City of Memphis employees answer call after call, often from people in their most difficult moments. They do it with professionalism and grace. It is an incredibly stressful job, and we should all be thankful that they do it every single day.

So Wednesday afternoon, I made an impromptu visit to our 911 call center at 201 Poplar to thank them for their work. Here are some photos I took.

911 Center Photos

They’re the real stars of our 911 progress, and I thank them.

But that’s not all. I asked directors for more examples I could highlight. Here's one: Angela Hill, a recreation program manager, helped coordinate 22 projects with over 200 volunteers at our community centers during last month’s Volunteer Memphis event that honored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. At the Whitehaven Community Center in particular, Fire Battalion 9 and Hillcrest High School students and faculty cleaned up the park and walking track between the center and Hillcrest High School.

Or, how about MAS? The Memphis Animal Services crew sent over this photo of a MAS team that helped send 43 dogs and cats to low-intake shelters in the northeast and northwest through the privately-funded Wings of Rescue transit plane.

MAS Wings of Rescue

Left to right, standing: Officer David Johnson, Officer Marandia Benton, Wings of Rescue’s Ric Browde, Officer Darrell Hudson, Officer Erric Little, Officer Adrian Dest, Officer Isaac Christopher. Left to right, kneeling: Katie Pemberton, MAS administrator Alexis Pugh, Whitney Van Zandt.

Our team unloaded MAS animals onto four waiting planes, but here’s where our animal control officers in particular went above and beyond. After unloading all of our animals, many of them got onto the other planes to help load other animals and make sure everything was set. So not only did they secure great outcomes for 43 MAS animals, they helped secure great outcomes for more than 400 animals from shelters across the Mid-South.

I can also tell you that under Alexis’ direction and due to the hard work of the MAS staff, our rate of euthanasia for time and space was reduced by 24 percent in January compared to last January. But I tend to think the photo and story above tell MAS’ improvements just as much as that number does.

And last -- but not least -- how about MPD? Some of you may have seen Jerry Askin’s nice story on WMC-TV about how two of our officers -- Mike Apalucci and Sierra Braxton -- bought groceries for a robbery victim.

You may not have seen this one -- but you should. It’s a two-minute video, but worth every second. Officer Albert Parks, a 21-year veteran and member of our Community Outreach Program, bought ice cream for a group of kids a few days ago.

I could go on and on. And I plan to highlight more of our employees in the coming weeks. But today, I’ll simply end with this: Thank you. On behalf of all of Memphis, thank you for the work you do every single day to make life better for every single Memphian.

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