Mayor: Communication needs to improve

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland says communication needs to improve

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Mayor Jim Strickland is reflecting and focusing on how to heal the community, after a violent week in Memphis involving the shooting death of 20-year-old Brandon Webber at the hands of U.S. Marshals.

"Civic leaders, faith leaders. We're talking to those who are going to continue these meetings to improve communication and I think we're all committed to the need to express opinions without violence,” said Strickland.

That violence led to at least 36 injuries of Memphis Police officers and Shelby County Deputies, and damages to 15 city, county and federal buildings.

Thursday, Police Director Mike Rallings declared MPD would operate on a Level 3. This means there will be no days off for officers, extra patrols in Frayser and officers will ride two to a squad car.

"They did it after the bridge for a long time for many weeks. Hopefully this won't last that long, but for the protection of the public throughout our city and the protection of our officers themselves. This extra manpower is needed,” said Strickland.

Mayor Strickland says despite the long hours officers will have to work, he knows MPD is well-equipped to handle it.

He says it's also another reason to continue to recruit and hire more police officers.

"About 10 years ago we had about 2,400 officers. Shortly after I became mayor, we dropped down to close to 1,900. Like I said we’re over 2,000 now. Hopefully we’ll be at 2,100 next year,” said Strickland.

Strickland said the city hopes to have 2,300 officers by 2020.

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