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Forbes: America's Most Dangerous Cities

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Why Memphis is Dangerous

The Memphis metropolitan area logged 1,006 violent crimes per 100,000 residents last year, down from 1,146 in 2009. Chronic poverty likely plays a role – 19.1% of the residents of the were below the poverty line in 2010, making it the most impoverished large metro area in the country, according to Census Bureau data. But detailed record keeping also plays a part in why Memphis ranks so highly on our list: the city's police department adopted a data-driven approach to policing in 2006 called Blue Crush that relies on accurate incident tracking, for which it adopted the FBI’s meticulous crime reporting method known as the National Incident-Based Reporting System. As a result, it may be recording crimes that in other cities would go unreported to the FBI. Though the crime rate remains comparatively high, the Memphis Police Department says that serious crime has dropped more than 25% since it began the Blue Crush program in 2006.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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