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Mayor Strickland's Weekly Update: March 29, 2019
Weekly Update: New data on improving City services
Posted on 03/29/2019

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Running an efficient, data-driven City government that delivers better services to you is the very core of what drives us every day at City Hall. We know there’s so much more work ahead of us on that front, but we saw a reminder this week of just how hard our team is working.

Among the items we learned at our monthly data review meeting:

  • 911 call answer time set new records, with MPD answering calls in an average of 5.8 seconds and answering 97.7 percent of calls within our goal of 20 seconds or less. You may recall that we averaged 59.7 seconds per call when I took office.
  • Violent crime continued to decline, down 4.4 percent in the first two months of the year compared to the start of 2018 (which also had declines). Property crime is down 5.9 percent.
  • False alarms, which strain our police staffing capacity, are down 10.7 percent year to date. This is so important because 98 percent of alarm calls are false, and alarm calls count for 15-20 percent of all police calls.
  • Memphis Animal Services’ turnaround continues, setting a new record with a 93.7 percent “save rate” despite a 45 percent increase in intake. That beat the previous record, set a month earlier, and is a massive improvement from roughly 50 percent when we took office.
  • Missed pickups of solid waste service were resolved in an average of half a day in February.
  • Library program attendance is up 50 percent fiscal year to date, and up 189 percent from the last fiscal year before we took office. Among youth, library program attendance is up 36 percent fiscal year to date and up 166 percent from when we took office.

This is what happens when you do what I said I would in 2015: Measure results, share them publicly, and hold people accountable. I’m proud that we’ve set the tone, but I’m even more proud of the hard work of the men and women of City government who delivered these results to you.

I often say Memphis has momentum, and I mean that just as much about City government as I do the broader community.

We are fixing things, and I hope you’re taking notice.

Taking nominations: In case you haven’t heard, the Memphis Sports Council (a private group of Memphis Tourism) is starting the Memphis Sports Hall of Fame, and it will be housed at AutoZone Park. I encourage you to nominate someone for the inaugural class, but you need to do so quickly -- the deadline is April 5. Go here to nominate.

Being strategic: I was proud Thursday to chair the first meeting of the Memphis & Shelby County Regional Economic Alliance. The alliance will give more resources to the groups that work to recruit new businesses to Memphis and retain current ones, which are important components of our overall economic development efforts. We all agreed on a handful of industry sectors that we’ll target starting this year, all of them uniquely matched to Memphis’ assets. They are: medical devices, ag tech, business-to-business, transportation/distribution/logistics, emerging tech, and music.

In short, know this: For the first time in a long time, if ever, the business recruitment and retention efforts in Memphis will be collaborative, strategic, targeted to sectors, and data- and research-driven.

As you know, I’m not simply content with our momentum in Memphis; I want to accelerate it. This work will be an important part of making that a reality.

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Each Friday, Mayor Jim Strickland sends his Weekly Update email. It's a recap of events from the week, a celebration of Memphis' successes, and a frank look at our challenges. To receive the Weekly Update in your inbox, sign up here.

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