MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A new report from the FBI, claimed Memphis is the third most dangerous city in the nation.
The study compared crime rates of cities with populations over 200,000.
Memphis was only just ranked below Detroit and Oakland, California, but the Chair of the Crime Commission Ben Adams said he isn’t sure how accurate the rankings are.
Cordarro Vaughn’s a lifelong Memphian, and he was anything but surprised when he heard the FBI labeled Memphis the third most dangerous city in the country.
He said he believes much of the crime is the product of our poverty rate, which is just under 28%.
“I’m one of them, because I don’t have a job. I’m a convicted felon too,” he said.
Adams said helping ex-cons reenter society is critical to crime prevention, but he is also critical of the FBI’s ranking system.
“Less than a third of the cities use the reporting method that we do in Tennessee,” he said.
We use a system called NIBERS.
Most of the country however uses the Uniform Crime Reporting method or UCR.
“The difference is under the UCR, if there’s a crime incident, it’s only reported as one crime. Under NIBERS, they’re all reported separately,” Adams said.
The FBI’s ranking was also based on 2013 numbers.
It reported there were 124 murders, 7,200 aggravated assault, 366 arsons and more than 40,000 property crimes.
Comparing 2012 to 2013, it showed violent crime went down by more than 4%.
Murders went up by 7%, but aggravated assaults and rapes were down.
Adam said since 2006, the city’s made great improvements.
“Violent crime is down almost 13%,” he said.
Now, Adams said he is worried people will judge Memphis on this one FBI headline without knowing all the facts.
“It’s a terrible image to reflect when it’s not even fair,” he said.
Last year, Memphis ranked number four on the FBI’s list.
This year, we surpassed St. Louis for the number three spot.