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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The spike in interstate shootings across the Memphis and Shelby County area continues to be a problem, but Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland says he’s committed to solving the problem.

There have been 39 shootings on Memphis interstates so far this year, police say. Memphis saw a record number of interstate shooting in 2020 and may be headed for more in 2021.

Strickland on Wednesday said he’s been speaking with people at the state level to get more Tennessee Highway Patrol officers in the area. It’s the same solution proposed by recently retired Police Director Michael Rallings.

“I’ve spoken to the governor multiple times, legislative leaders multiple times, the Tennessee Highway Patrol,” Strickland said.

Strickland said he wants a permanent presence of the highway patrol in Shelby County.

“If we can get more help from Tennessee Highway Patrol, that’s fewer officers we have to put on the interstates, and they can patrol our streets,” he said.

Just last week, Tennessee Highway Patrol said they have extra troopers working Shelby County interstates, and that they hope to provide even more support in the future.

WREG reached out to the Tennessee Highway Patrol multiple times for this story, and did not hear back.

“I think if we can get a permanent presence on the I-40, I-240 loop, I think you’re going to see those interstate shootings go down,” Strickland said.