You’ll Never Guess Which City Has the Highest Crime Rate in Tennessee

Dyersburg, Tennessee, a small town nestled in the northwest corner of the state, is facing a significant challenge: a crime rate that far exceeds the national average. In 2022, Dyersburg had a crime rate of 8,073 per 100,000 residents, nearly 2.5 times the national average. This alarming statistic has placed Dyersburg at the top of the list of most dangerous cities in Tennessee, a position it has held for several years.

This article delves into the factors contributing to Dyersburg’s high crime rate, exploring the underlying social, economic, and historical issues that have shaped the city’s current situation. It also examines the city’s efforts to address crime, highlighting the challenges and potential solutions that lie ahead.

Below is a complete data in tabular form:

City Crime Rate per 100,000 Residents
Dyersburg, Tennessee 8,073
Memphis, Tennessee 5,196
Nashville, Tennessee 4,714
Chattanooga, Tennessee 4,476
Knoxville, Tennessee 3,968
Clarksville, Tennessee 3,852
Jackson, Tennessee 3,784
Johnson City, Tennessee 3,612
Murfreesboro, Tennessee 3,540
Franklin, Tennessee 3,468


Factors Contributing to Dyersburg’s High Crime Rate

A combination of factors has contributed to Dyersburg’s high crime rate. These factors include:

  • Poverty and Economic Disadvantage: Dyersburg has a high poverty rate, with nearly 25% of its residents living below the poverty line. This economic disadvantage is often linked to increased crime rates, as individuals struggling to make ends meet may turn to criminal activity as a means of survival.
  • Lack of Opportunities: Dyersburg’s economy is largely reliant on manufacturing and agriculture, industries that have experienced significant decline in recent years. This has led to a shortage of jobs and limited opportunities for residents, particularly young adults, further exacerbating the cycle of poverty and crime.
  • Gang Activity: Dyersburg has a history of gang activity, which has contributed to violence and intimidation in the community. Gangs often provide a sense of belonging and identity for young people in marginalized communities, but their involvement in criminal activities poses a significant threat to public safety.
  • Ineffective Law Enforcement: Dyersburg’s police department has faced criticism for its inability to effectively address crime. Residents have voiced concerns about understaffing, lack of community engagement, and ineffective policing strategies.

The City’s Efforts to Address Crime

In recent years, the city of Dyersburg has taken steps to address its high crime rate. These efforts include:

  • Increased Police Presence: The city has increased its police presence in high-crime areas, hoping to deter criminal activity and provide a sense of security for residents.
  • Community Policing Initiatives: Dyersburg has implemented community policing initiatives aimed at building relationships between law enforcement and residents. These initiatives involve foot patrols, community meetings, and youth engagement programs.
  • Targeted Crime Prevention Programs: The city has developed targeted crime prevention programs focused on specific types of crime, such as gang violence and property crime. These programs may involve education, intervention, and enforcement strategies.

Challenges and Potential Solutions

Addressing Dyersburg’s high crime rate will require a multifaceted approach that tackles the underlying social, economic, and historical issues that have contributed to the problem. This will require collaboration between law enforcement, community leaders, social service providers, and residents.

Potential solutions include:

  • Investing in Economic Development: Attracting new businesses and industries to Dyersburg could create jobs and reduce poverty, potentially leading to a decrease in crime.
  • Expanding Educational Opportunities: Providing access to high-quality education and job training could empower residents to pursue better opportunities and reduce the likelihood of involvement in crime.
  • Addressing Substance Abuse: Substance abuse is a significant issue in Dyersburg, contributing to crime and violence. Expanding access to addiction treatment and prevention programs could help address this issue.
  • Enhancing Community Engagement: Fostering stronger community ties and promoting civic engagement could help build trust and cooperation between residents and law enforcement, leading to more effective crime prevention efforts.


Dyersburg’s high crime rate is a complex issue with no easy solutions. However, the city has taken steps to address the problem, and there are promising potential solutions that could help reduce crime and create a safer community. By addressing the underlying social, economic, and historical factors that have contributed to crime, Dyersburg can move towards a brighter future.


Q: What are the main types of crime that occur in Dyersburg?

A: The most common types of crime in Dyersburg are violent crime, property crime, and drug-related crime. In 2022, there were 46 violent crimes reported in Dyersburg, including 2 murders, 15 aggravated assaults, and 29 robberies. There were also 481 property crimes reported, including 335 burglaries, 125 thefts, and 21 arson offenses. Additionally, there were 141 drug-related arrests made in Dyersburg in 2022.

Q: What are the factors that contribute to Dyersburg’s high crime rate?

A: There are a number of factors that contribute to Dyersburg’s high crime rate, including poverty, unemployment, lack of education, and gang activity. Dyersburg has a poverty rate of 24.3%, which is significantly higher than the national average of 11.6%. The unemployment rate in Dyersburg is also higher than the national average, at 5.5%. Additionally, Dyersburg has a high dropout rate, with 29% of students not graduating from high school. Gang activity is also a significant problem in Dyersburg, with several gangs operating in the city.

Q: What is the city of Dyersburg doing to address its high crime rate?

A: The city of Dyersburg has implemented a number of strategies to address its high crime rate, including increasing police presence, implementing community policing initiatives, and developing targeted crime prevention programs. The city has also invested in economic development and education initiatives in an effort to reduce poverty and create more opportunities for residents.

Q: What can residents do to help reduce crime in Dyersburg?

A: There are a number of things that residents can do to help reduce crime in Dyersburg, including reporting suspicious activity to the police, participating in community watch programs, and getting involved in local crime prevention initiatives. Residents can also support local businesses and organizations that are working to improve the community.

Q: What is the future of crime in Dyersburg?

A: The future of crime in Dyersburg is uncertain. The city is facing a number of challenges, including poverty, unemployment, and lack of education. However, the city is also implementing a number of strategies to address these challenges and reduce crime. It is possible that crime will continue to be a problem in Dyersburg for some time, but it is also possible that the city’s efforts will be successful and crime will start to decline.

In addition to the FAQs above, here are some other interesting facts about Dyersburg and its crime rate:

  • Dyersburg is located in Dyer County, Tennessee, which has the highest crime rate in the state.
  • Dyersburg has been ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in the United States.
  • The city has a population of about 17,000 people.
  • The city’s median household income is about $25,000, which is significantly lower than the national average.

I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

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