Tennessee may be home to some of the highest crime rates in the country, but as the latest FBI report details, it’s also home to safe havens. The database identifies more than twenty cities and towns with violent crime rates that fall below two per 1,000 people. At the same time, all but three of those cities reported property crime rates below the national average.

Even some of the state’s most crime-ridden areas are reporting progress in certain places, including Memphis. The city of nearly 653,000 experienced an almost 40% drop in murders and an 11% drop in robberies for the first three months of 2018 when compared to just a year before. Meanwhile, statewide domestic violence reports dropped 2% in 2017, with the majority of cases taking place between intimate partners.

These findings come during a time when Tennesseans are preparing to vote in tight races for not only governor but also a senate seat currently held by Republican Bob Corker. The latter is challenged by former governor of Tennessee and mayor of Nashville Phil Bredesen, a Democrat. One issue under debate locally as well as nationally is the use of private prisons. Tennessee ranks tenth in the country for incarceration rates, with African Americans representing a disproportionate number of those inmates. According to Gerald K. Fosten, a researcher at The African Institute, this is no accident. “Profit-seeking motives and other forms of economic incentives contribute to policy racism in Tennessee’s criminal justice system,” the graduate of Tennessee State University writes.  

SafeWise encourages Tennesseans of all backgrounds to familiarize themselves with the safety systems and programs available to them. For a complete list, visit our National Home Security and Crime Prevention Center.  

The 20 Safest Cities in Tennessee

  1. Belle Meade
    Population: 3,021
    Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.00
    Property crimes per 1,000: 10.26
    Total crimes: 0% violent, 100% property
  2. Pleasant View
    Population: 4,327
    Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.46
    Property crimes per 1,000: 7.63
    Total crimes: 6.06% violent, 93.94% property
  3. Signal Mountain
    Population: 8,577
    Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.47
    Property crimes per 1,000: 4.31
    Total crimes: 10.81% violent, 89.19% property
  4. Oakland
    Population: 7,670
    Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.52
    Property crimes per 1,000: 9.78
    Total crimes: 5.33% violent, 94.67% property
  5. Brentwood
    Population: 42,739
    Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.58
    Property crimes per 1,000: 9.29
    Total crimes: 6.30% violent, 93.70% property
  6. Collegedale
    Population: 11,245
    Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.71
    Property crimes per 1,000: 12.18
    Total crimes: 5.84% violent, 94.16% property
  7. Germantown
    Population: 39,311
    Violent crimes per 1,000: 1.17
    Property crimes per 1,000: 12.80
    Total crimes: 9.15% violent, 90.85% property
  8. Erwin
    Population: 5,959
    Violent crimes per 1,000: 1.17
    Property crimes per 1,000: 10.40
    Total crimes: 11.29% violent, 88.71% property
  9. Loudon
    Population: 5,800
    Violent crimes per 1,000: 1.21
    Property crimes per 1,000: 12.59
    Total crimes: 9.59% violent, 90.41% property
  10. Hendersonville
    Population: 56,965
    Violent crimes per 1,000: 1.32
    Property crimes per 1,000: 15.34
    Total crimes: 8.58% violent, 91.42% property
  11. Whiteville
    Population: 4,502
    Violent crimes per 1,000: 1.33
    Property crimes per 1,000: 8.44
    Total crimes: 15.79% violent, 84.21% property
  12. Collierville
    Population: 49,531
    Violent crimes per 1,000: 1.62
    Property crimes per 1,000: 14.94
    Total crimes: 10.81% violent, 89.19% property
  13. Tiptonville
    Population: 4,331
    Violent crimes per 1,000: 1.62
    Property crimes per 1,000: 8.77
    Total crimes: 18.42% violent, 81.58% property
  14. Mount Juliet
    Population: 33,048
    Violent crimes per 1,000: 1.63
    Property crimes per 1,000: 14.83
    Total crimes: 11.02% violent, 88.98% property
  15. Lenoir City
    Population: 9,175
    Violent crimes per 1,000: 1.63
    Property crimes per 1,000: 30.52
    Total crimes: 5.36% violent, 94.64% property
  16. Nolensville
    Population: 7,164
    Violent crimes per 1,000: 1.68
    Property crimes per 1,000: 14.66
    Total crimes: 11.43% violent, 88.57% property
  17. New Tazewell
    Population: 2,943
    Violent crimes per 1,000: 1.70
    Property crimes per 1,000: 30.24
    Total crimes: 5.62% violent, 94.38% property
  18. McKenzie
    Population: 5,294
    Violent crimes per 1,000: 1.70
    Property crimes per 1,000: 27.77
    Total crimes: 6.12% violent, 93.88% property
  19. Sparta
    Population: 5,131
    Violent crimes per 1,000: 1.75
    Property crimes per 1,000: 52.23
    Total crimes: 3.36% violent, 96.64% property
  20. Church Hill
    Population: 6,714
    Violent crimes per 1,000: 1.79
    Property crimes per 1,000: 4.17
    Total crimes: 42.86% violent, 57.14% property

How We Chose the Safest Cities in Tennessee

To identify the twenty safest cities in Tennessee, we reviewed the 2016 FBI crime report statistics and population data. Cities that fell below identified population thresholds or that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI were excluded from the ranking system.

Our evaluation is based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) in each city. If there was a tie, we also factored in the number of property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft). To level the playing field, we calculated the rate of crimes per 1,000 people in each city. This makes it easier to directly compare the likelihood of these crimes occurring in cities with vastly different populations.

Learn more about how we rank our Safest Cities reports.

How to Make a Safe Home Anywhere

Wherever you live, feeling safe in your home can bring greater peace of mind and happiness. Whether your city made our list or not, we recommend adding extra security to your home with monitored security services provided by the nation’s leading home security providers.

To learn more about the home security options available to you, check out SafeWise’s picks for Best Home Security Systems of 2018.

If you would like to contact a SafeWise Safest Cities Analyst, please email info@safewise.com.

Written by Tamarra Kemsley

Tamarra graduated with a BA in communications in 2012 and with an MA in Islam and the Middle East from Jerusalem's Hebrew University in 2015. You can follow her on Twitter @tamarranicole. Learn more

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