Cleveland rans 47th safest city in Tennessee

By TIM SINIARD
Posted 9/8/19

Cleveland is the 47th safest city in Tennessee, according to an annual report released by online public records website BackgroundChecks.org.In addition, Tennessee has the third “highest violent …

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Cleveland rans 47th safest city in Tennessee

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Cleveland is the 47th safest city in Tennessee, according to an annual report released by online public records website BackgroundChecks.org.

In addition, Tennessee has the third “highest violent crime rate and the ninth highest property crime rate in the nation,” according to the report.

The report noted the state’s poor showing is influenced by crime statistics related to three cities: Memphis, Nashville and Chattanooga.

“These figures don’t tell the whole story, as Tennessee’s poor showing is mostly to do with very high crime rates in large cities like Memphis, Nashville and Chattanooga that skew the numbers.”

BackgroundChecks.org bills itself as the only free online directory and online public records and background check portal.

The state’s safest cities are Germantown, Collierville, Brentwood, Collegedale and Soddy Daisy.

The methodology used for the report includes crime statistics compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“We used the most recent FBI crime statistics to create state rankings,” the report stated. “There were initially 7,430 cities in the data set. After filtering out the cities with populations of less than 10,000, 2,929 cities remained. We then calculated violent crime rates and property crime rates by dividing the crime numbers by the population to get rates per 1,000.”

In addition, the online portal also “calculated the ratio of law enforcement workers to per 1,000. These were weighted with -50% for the violent crime rate, -25% for the property crime rate, and +25% for the law enforcement rate.

The data is used to determine the safety index score.

"The higher this number, [the] more safe the city is,” the report stated.

Cleveland’s safety index score is -1.37.

Chattanooga ranks 50th on the list, with a safety index score of -1.5.

The report noted the safety index score is a “way of determining the safety of a given community based on FBI crime data, population and law enforcement employee numbers."

The "safest" cities each have a score above 0.2.

Four cities in Tennessee, Germantown, Collierville, Brentwood and Collegedale all ranked above 0.40 on the scale, “placing them among the nation’s elite in terms of safety,” the report stated.

Cleveland Police Department Public Information Officer Sgt. Evie West said the report does not reflect changes in population caused by commuter traffic in the city.

West said the number of people in the city increases from  approximately 40,000 to approximately 200,000 each day as commuters and other transients enter the city, which is also located off Interstate 75 – one of the busiest freeways in the United States.

“It’s not a good report,” West said. “The statistics do not include commuters. It does not take in people who are visiting.”

According to the City of Cleveland’s website, “annually, about 75% to 80% of crime in the City of Cleveland involves property crimes." A significant portion of these crimes involve "unsecured property, inadequately identified property and inadequate provisions for security.”

The city’s website also states “local residents within Bradley County commit the bulk of property crime and that most of the minor crimes occurring in businesses and residential areas involve local residents.”

Earlier this year, a report from the National Council for Home Safety and Security ranked Cleveland the 52nd safest state in Tennessee.





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