Weekly Update: More police officers and less potholes

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If you’ve been paying attention to the news from the Shelby County Health Department this week, you might have noticed that we’re beginning to see a plateau in new cases and hospitalizations.

While we still have a long way to go, this is very good news.

It’s good news for a couple reasons. The potential holiday surge we were concerned about (while it still happened) was not nearly as bad as we had prepared to handle. And, this is in large part because of you. Many of you got tested during the holidays during our free asymptomatic testing events and avoided large family gatherings like we all normally have during that time of year.

So, my message today—thank you.

Thank you for doing the tedious work of wearing masks and practicing social distancing. Each day, we are getting closer and closer to getting through this.

133rd Police Recruit Graduation: Rebuilding the Memphis Police Department has been one of the most intensive issues we’ve worked on over our time in the mayor’s office. Last night, I had the distinct honor to welcome and congratulate 44 men and women to the Best in Blue.


So, again to our new graduates—congratulations and know this:

My office is behind you, and all of our city is behind you.

Potholes: This is a subject that we have not talked about in a while, so I wanted to give you a quick rundown.

Each month, we have a meeting to discuss and review the performance of several different data points from each division of city government. (You can see all those data points here.)

During December’s performance update, I asked Public Works about our pothole numbers given our recurring funding commitment to paving city streets. You can see those funding numbers below. (*note that my first budget as Mayor was FY17)

Fiscal Year Adopted Budget
2014 14,500,000
2015 17,600,000
2016 15,000,000
2017 17,000,000
2018 18,500,000
2019 19,000,000
2020 19,500,000

They reviewed Street Maintenance pothole reports and total potholes filled last year, and this is what they found.

In 2020, we filled 44,549 potholes. In 2019 the total was 56,953, and in 2018, that number was 60,242. Based upon this, Public Works filled 22 percent fewer potholes in 2020 compared to 2019. Below are also the number of 311 Pothole calls for the same years.

2018- 10,786
2019- 11,894
2020- 7,459

This information shows 311 calls went down significantly in 2020 (37 percent reduction vs 2019). So, we had 22 percent reduction in total potholes filled, and a 37 percent reduction in pothole complaints.

We still have more to do in this area, and believe me, we’re going to keep paving more of your city streets. To report a pothole complaint, please call 311.

Have a great weekend.


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