Memphis has made another list. This time, like a lot of times, it’s one of those lists that no one wants the city to have made. CQ Press goes through the FBI crime stats for 2008, looking at serious crimes, including murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and motor vehicle theft. While Camden, NJ is the most dangerous U.S. city, according to the list. Spot number 10 belongs to Memphis. You can see the entire list here.
The survey is sort of a “raw numbers” comparison, looking at the incidence of crime by population. The fact it doesn’t look at other factors has leaders in the cities that make the list complain that its too simplistic. Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin has said in the past months that the ongoing Blue Crush initiative has made strides in making the city a safer place. Whenever you’re dealing with statistical information, you can get nearly any type of answer you’re looking for. No one knows who said it first, but Mark Twain said it best: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”
It’s hard to say whether Memphis is truly the 10th most dangerous city in the United States. There are parts of the city where I wouldn’t want to linger, even in the middle of the day. On the other hand, there are parts of town where I feel comfortable walking well into the night. That’s something that’s probably the case in most places. There have been a more than a few stories on the evening news of late that remind us of the crime problems our city suffers. There’s no easy answer. More police could help. Citizens being a little more careful and concerned about their surroundings would be good too.
Keeps your eyes open. It could help.