In the annual study by Safewise.com, five cities in the 24th Judicial District are named among the Top 125 Safest Cities in Tennessee; two are listed in the top 10. Coming in at number six, Camden makes the Top 10 list for 2021 Safest Cities with an incredible jump of 48 places from last year. Huntingdon rose 5 places in the study to the number 12 spot. Three other cities in the 24th District make the list with McKenzie at number 44, Paris at number 54, and Savannah at number 117.
There are many contributing factors to reducing crime, however the most important is cooperation between law enforcement and our office,” states District Attorney Matthew Stowe. “Our local law enforcement departments have been excellent partners. Because we work along with law enforcement, we see, first-hand, their dedication and efforts that often go unpublicized due to the nature of the job. From the Sheriffs’ Departments to City Police to our Drug Task Force, these brave men and women put their lives on the line every day to keep a civil society for the rest of the community.”
This past year has seen a change in the dynamic of crimes due to Covid-19. Family and relationship assaults have risen while random violent crime has seen a drop. Drug abuse also plays a huge role as the central factor of most crimes in our region.
“The Assistant District Attorneys of our office are also heroes,” Stowe continues. “They are working long days, weekends, and holidays – whenever crime is happening. There are 9 ADAs in the district that handle all the criminal cases for our 5 counties and the 24th Drug Task Force. That is a tremendous load, and I am deeply grateful for their hard work and dedication.”
ADA Jennifer Hedge is the chief prosecutor for Benton County. ADA James Webb is the chief prosecutor for Carroll County. ADA Devon Wilson is a general prosecutor in Benton and Carroll Counties. ADA K. Michelle Morris is the chief prosecutor for Decatur County. ADA Vance Dennis is the chief prosecutor for Hardin County. ADA Morgan Reynolds is the special prosecutor for the 24th’s Drug Task Force and serves as a general prosecutor for Decatur and Hardin Counties. ADA Rebecca Griffey is the chief prosecutor for Henry County. ADA Tiffany Evans is a general prosecutor for Henry County. ADA Stephanie Hale serves as the special prosecutor for DUI crimes for all 5 counties.
The study reveals the following statistics:
• The violent crime rate in the top 10 safest cities is 1.0 incidents per 1,000 people.Half of the safest cities
• reported 5 or fewer total violent crimes.
• No murders were reported among the top 10 safest cities.
• Camden saw the biggest jump this year, leaping 48 spots to land at number 6 on our list. Mount Pleasant was second, jumping 29 spots to number 14.
• Camden’s property crime rate plummeted 72% year over year from 30.9 incidents per 1,000 to 8.7.
• 2 cities (60%) improved in ranking year over year.
• The property crime rate in the safest cities is 8.3 incidents per 1,000—that’s 69% below the statewide rate of 26.5.
• 16 cities (80%) reported fewer than 100 total property crimes.
• Although Franklin reported the most property crimes (926), it has only the fifth-highest property crime rate among the safest cities. Kingston, Germantown, Huntingdon, and Pleasant View have higher rates when adjusted for population.
“While our statistics are showing improvement in crime rates, there is still much work to be done,” said DA Stowe.