From the fairgrounds to the shuttered campus of historic Melrose High School, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland is spying growth opportunities in places once neglected or abandoned.
Repurposing or re-activating old buildings is just part of his vision for improving the city in the near future. This week on WKNO-FM's Behind the Headlines, Strickland says that with the right concepts, old buildings can become economic boosters for their neighborhoods, just like the Tennessee Brewery Downtown.
His fairgrounds plan includes building a large Memphis sports facility. The grounds would house indoor and outdoor fields, courts and arenas. Memphis, he says, currently doesn't have a single facility for indoor sports.
Finally, in his interview with host Eric Barnes and Bill Dries, senior reporter with the Daily Memphian, Strickland weighs in on some of the controversial court cases against the Memphis Police Department, including the recent shooting of Martavious Banks. Strickland says that in the two years since MPD has been using body cameras, it has logged in more than three million recordings. He says that there have, so far, only been sixty times when cameras were not turned on or failed to record. Three simultaneous instances occured when Banks was shot.
Strickland acknowledges that while there hasn't been a 100 percent success rate, there has been a decrease in complaints about police conduct over the past couple of years.