Memphis ranked fourth most dangerous metro city in U.S., study shows

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A new study released the most dangerous metro cities in the United States, and like previous years, Memphis was listed in the top five.

According to the study by Safewise, Memphis is the fourth most dangerous big city in the country.

Although, this is an improvement over last year, when Memphis ranked third.

Overall, when not limited to cities with populations over 250,000, Memphis still came in at No. 20 in the U.S.

Download the FOX13 Memphis app to receive alerts from breaking news in your neighborhood.

Trending stories:

Safewise used 2017 FBI crime statistics – the most recently updated available – to tabulate the results.

Aside from the familiar homicide numbers, the FBI numbers go beyond that. They found in 2017, there were more than 13,000 instances of violent crime in Memphis.

"We would term this as 'cautious optimism,'" said Deputy Chief Don Crowe when asked about the study. "We know we are doing a lot of good things and we are so proud of our officers that are out there on the street every day."

Safewise ranked large cities based on the number of violent crimes reported.

The FBI found that in 2017, there were 181 murders, 590 rapes, and 3,457 robberies across the Bluff City.

"We know there's always room for improvement,” Crowe said.

FOX13 asked him what he credits for the improvement.

He listed a few programs, including the Organized Crime Unit, the Multi-Agency Gang Unit, and Project Safe Neighborhoods.

Crowe also cited an increase in officers on the streets.

"We know as the number of officers goes up, crime should go down,” he said.

MPD currently has 2,078 police officers. Crowe said that number was around 1,900 last year.

"If we stand still, the criminals will change and adapt to it,” Crowe said.

Crowe said there are areas where MPD still has room to improve, including reducing the number of teenage offenders.

A new stat to report, Crowe said auto thefts in Memphis are down 30 percent.

You can find the entire Safewise report here.