Strickland looks back on 2017 with optimism in challenges of new year

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis city leaders kicked off the New Year by reflecting on the good and bad of 2017 Monday.

At the annual mayor prayer breakfast, Jim Strickland was asked about his greatest successes and challenges of 2017.

Strickland said he priority remains crime.

Community leaders, clergy, and invited guests gathered at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis to begin the year in prayer.

"As we go into that new year there is so much that we'd like to accomplish as an administration, and we know there's no better way than to start the year off with prayer, so we're bringing a diverse group of people together," Mayor Special Assistant Ken Moody said.

Strickland talked about the year ahead and said the city will stay the course.

"Our crime plan is being implemented, but unfortunately we're not getting the results that we want yet, but we know long term that we will," Strickland said.

He said the city has seen progress with police recruitment.

"For the first time in seven years over a 12 month period of time, we've hired more police officers than have left," Strickland said.

The city acknowledged other accomplishments over the past year, like road pavement projects and securing grants for the 1968 sanitation workers.

Reverend Dr. James Netters, one of the first men arrested during the civil rights bus sit-ins, was a speaker during the breakfast.

Strickland mentioned a few city projects on the horizon, such as the renovation of the Cook Convention Center and the groundbreaking of the Raleigh Town Center in place of the old Raleigh Springs Mall.

"The city government cannot reduce crime by itself," Strickland said. "We need parents involved and we need community activist involved."

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