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Old 12-29-2009, 01:58 PM
 
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I was surprised to see that the crime index is so high for Knoxville. It ranks higher than Phoenix, AZ and New York City. Is Knoxville really that dangerous?
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:48 PM
Status: "You've grown up really crazy! - Eisley" (set 12 days ago)
 
Location: Deane Hill, Knoxville, Tennessee
21,686 posts, read 32,137,861 times
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A few things.

First of all, New York City is the safest large city in the country. It is VERY safe. It wasn't always that way, so it has the bad rep, but it has been extremely safe for years and years.

Also, Tennessee has some weird reporting thing where the cops report every charge within every incident so that it looks like we have MUCH more crime than most places.

And finally, statistics are very unreliable. More than a few municipalities across the country have been caught low-balling the numbers. Atlanta, just before the Olympics, comes to mind. And those are the ones that get caught. In Fort Myers, FL, where I used to live, the current and former chief both accuse each other of fudging the numbers.

I grew up in a small town, where there was very little crime and then moved to Orlando where I promptly went into culture shock. Fort Myers wasn't much better, although the crime rate wasn't as bad (see above).

I think Knoxville's crime isn't bad for a city of its size. It seems much, much less than the crime rate indicates (see above, again). I live within the city limits but it feels like I live in a small-town neighborhood.
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Old 12-29-2009, 05:26 PM
 
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Most of the violent crime here occurs between friends & family.
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Old 12-29-2009, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Knoxville,Tn.
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I live within the city limits of Knoxville and I feel very safe whenever I am out and about in the city.The crime stats are skewed and therefore look worse then they are.
I'm from a very small town in upstate NY and I feel safer in Knoxville then I ever did in NY City.
Pam
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Old 12-30-2009, 08:09 AM
 
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I just retired after 22 yrs with the PD in Ft Myers. I am very familiar with crime reporting. UCR requires that you report each crime instance (a burglary with a theft and an assault is 3 crimes). However, its a bit like counting a hospital patient's "illnesses." The harder you look the more you find.

That said, danger is a perception - not a countable fact. I carried a gun in Ft Myers and I feel safer in Knoxville. As a matter of fact, I felt safer in NYC than Ft Myers. (But maybe it because I only saw the underside of life)

Well... Off to go pack. Leaving Ft Myers behind (after 30 years) for Friendsville!!
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Old 12-30-2009, 01:10 PM
 
667 posts, read 966,100 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airwalker55 View Post
I was surprised to see that the crime index is so high for Knoxville. It ranks higher than Phoenix, AZ and New York City. Is Knoxville really that dangerous?
Not sure about how your reference index is composed, but Phoenix is very dangerous in many ways.

Kidnapping Capital of the U.S.A. – Phoenix Arizona : Homeland Security News
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Old 12-30-2009, 02:30 PM
Status: "You've grown up really crazy! - Eisley" (set 12 days ago)
 
Location: Deane Hill, Knoxville, Tennessee
21,686 posts, read 32,137,861 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdglide88 View Post
I just retired after 22 yrs with the PD in Ft Myers. I am very familiar with crime reporting. UCR requires that you report each crime instance (a burglary with a theft and an assault is 3 crimes). However, its a bit like counting a hospital patient's "illnesses." The harder you look the more you find.

That said, danger is a perception - not a countable fact. I carried a gun in Ft Myers and I feel safer in Knoxville. As a matter of fact, I felt safer in NYC than Ft Myers. (But maybe it because I only saw the underside of life)

Well... Off to go pack. Leaving Ft Myers behind (after 30 years) for Friendsville!!
Well, bless your heart. I am so glad that you are getting out of that hell-hole. I lived there far too long and my husband, even longer.

I like Fort Myers PD. I can't say the same about Lee County. You will love this area. Hurry home and drive safe.
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Old 12-30-2009, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Dixie's Sunny Shore
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Yes, Phoenix has very dangerous pockets, much worse IMO than Knoxville.
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Beautiful East TN!!
7,285 posts, read 14,369,316 times
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Was just reading the news paper, up the road a bit from Knoxville in the Tri-Cities and came across this article:JohnsonCityPress.com - Local News - Johnson City, TN
and thought about this thread. (the guy who did this is from Knoxville)

This jerk changes the bar code on a computer in a Wal-Mart and gets caught. This was a crime against the store, not any individual or personal home but this is what they charge this guy with for the one act:
"Sharpe was charged with one count of burglary, one count of forgery and one count of theft over $500."

So now on the crime stats for Johnson City there is one more tick on the burglary category, one more tick on the forgery category and one more tick on the theft category. 3 crime stats increased for one incident.
When someone is reading the stats such as listed here on C-D, it LOOKS like there is a whole lot of thefts and a whole lot of burglaries but in truth, those numbers maybe almost half. The other thing about the stats that is misleading is how the average brain thinks when looking at these numbers. When I am looking at them, I am doing so as a home owner and an individual, so I read these thinking about myself, my kids and my house. When I see "burglary" I think "house break in" but like in the example above, burglary doesn't mean someones house, it is a burglary of a commercial store, no guns drawn, no physical damage done to anyone or anything, just some jerk trying to pay less (not steal altogether) for a computer.


I decided to compare where I live now as to where I moved here from.
Johnson City TN and Jupiter FL. I watched the news and read news papers while living in each area. In FL, I heard of house break in's and car thefts quite often, it was just a normal thing to see in the news. Here in J.C. TN, it is rare I hear about those things yet these are the stats on C-D in these categories:
Jupiter FL, population 39k, 2008:
Robberies-49
Burglaries-253
Thefts-1,112
Auto Theft-65

Over all crime Index- 224.3

Johnson City TN, population 55k, 2008:
Robberies-51
Burglaries-535
Thefts-2,203
Auto Theft-111

Over all crime Index-345.8

The average crime index in the US is 320


All I can say, from personal experience in both places is that these stats are a load of crap. I heard about MUCH more crimes in Jupiter than in Johnson City and the funny part about that is that here (TN) any crime is reported on the news...for days. You wouldn't even see a blip about a lot of incidences on the news in FL, it was just too common place in Jupiter to bother reporting every house that was broken into. I heard about more crimes by word of mouth than on the news, and there was a lot on the news. Not saying Jupiter is some kind of crime mecca, it is not. It is one of the nicer cities in that area however there was A LOT more crime there than here in Johnson City. Just the fact that there are more Jupiter police officers than there are in Johnson City shows that there is a larger need than here, even though the population count is a bit less in Jupiter.

So, over all one needs to be very careful to discern where the info that copulates into these stats is coming from, how incidents are reported and so forth. I have personally found that you can not judge a city/town/area on these stats alone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by creeksitter View Post
Most of the violent crime here occurs between friends & family.
Here is a good example of this.
JohnsonCityPress.com - Local News - Johnson City, TN

Last edited by mbmouse; 01-01-2010 at 12:09 PM..
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Old 01-01-2010, 12:26 PM
 
207 posts, read 404,573 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbmouse View Post
All I can say, from personal experience in both places is that these stats are a load of crap. I heard about MUCH more crimes in Jupiter than in Johnson City...
Yes, you are right, you cannot compare TN and FL stats for theft, etc.

This is the primary difference between areas that use Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) versus the more recent National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS). The wikipedia articles cover the differences:

Uniform Crime Reports - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
National Incident Based Reporting System - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The relevant difference here is that UCR only reports the most serious crime for a given event and NIBRS reports all crimes for that event.

You can check up on which areas use UCR and NIBRS here:

IBRRC State Profiles

TN uses NIBRS state-wide; FL still uses UCR. However, note that TN is not unique in using NIBRS. Many states now use it and states are transitioning to it. Thus, as long as you know the reporting mechanisms for the given districts (some states use one or the other given the city), then you can compare stats.

For example, there was a thread earlier comparing crime stats in Knoxville and Colorado Springs. In that case, Colorado Springs also uses NIBRS (and has longer than Knoxville), so you can more reliably compare the stats.

Finally, you can always compare the murder stats because that will always be reported in both systems.
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