Strickland discusses record-high homicide levels with two weeks left in year

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Mayor Jim Strickland did his part to help give meals to needy seniors Friday at City View Towers.

He also answered questions about the record-high number of homicides in Memphis in 2016, which he promised to work to improve in 2017.

“We as community have to do better job of catching people committing crimes, holding accountable but also lifting up our young people so they don’t enter a life of crime,” Strickland said.

Memphis had 220 homicides as of Friday.

Strickland said he was committed to reducing the crime by doing what he can at the city level.

“Unfortunately we’re down to 1,970 officers. Five years ago, we had 2,452. We’ve had a huge reduction in police officers. We’re working very hard,” he said.

But the mayor said he can’t reduce crime alone.

He asked for everyone’s help.

“We need public to get involved and donate to their best charities they know that help young people. We’re all starting to work together: city government and the nonprofits,” Strickland said.

He said he planned to make the same trip to City View Towers in 2017 and hoped he'd be saying goodbye to an improved year.

“I hope next year we’re talking about lower crime, more jobs and more opportunities for young people,” he said.