Mount Carmel ranked fifth safest, while Kingsport was 77th, Johnson City 53rd, and Bristol 39th.
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Cities were scored based on violent crimes per 1,000 population, property crimes per 1,000 population, and median income.
Church Hill, which has a population of 6,739, had a violent crime rate of 0.74 per 1,000 population, which was down 1.05; and a property crime rate of 4.01 per 1,000, which is down 0.16.
Based on those statistics, Security Baron scored Church Hill 89.11 out of 100, ahead of second place Signal Mountain (87.57), third place Oakland (86.51), fourth place Brentwood (85.28), and fifth place Mount Carmel (84.70).
Church Hill Police Department Chief Chad Mosley said his department’s success boils down to good police officers who are supported by good city leaders.
“We’ve stepped up our patrol of the town — proactive law enforcement — and I think that’s helped,” Mosley said. “Two years ago we were in the top 10, and we dropped last year. We just do the same thing day in and day out, and that (ranking) has no bearing on how we do our job.”
Mosley also credits the residents who look after each other and their neighborhoods and report suspicious activities, which helps with prevention and keeps crime stats low.
Mosley added, “It’s an honor to receive this award. We couldn’t do it without the officers we’ve got on board, and we’ve got a good board of mayor and aldermen who support us and take care of us. It’s a great honor for our city. It’s a neat award to get for this city, and I hope the residents appreciate it and they see the hard work that the officers are doing on a day-to-day basis.”
Mount Carmel, which has a population of 5,427, had a violent crime rate of 2.4 per 1,000, which increased 0.56; and a property crime rate of 8.11 per 1,000, which increased 1.29.
Mount Carmel Police Department Chief Ken Lunsford Jr. told the Times News Friday that like any town Mount Carmel has its occasional crime waves, such as a recent rash of burglaries. Overall, however, he said the department’s success can be attributed to the officers and the community.
“It comes down to great officers who like their job and get out there, drive around and patrol,” Lunsford Jr. said. “They talk to the community and are seen and heard. It’s a small-town community, and we get out and talk to our residents, get to know them and what’s going on in their neighborhoods, and being seen in the community.”
Lunsford noted that attentive residents help the MCPD keep an eye on their neighborhoods.
“We have a strong community, and they call us to check things out,” he added. “They’ve always got their eyes open, so when we don’t catch something, they do. It takes the community. Not just the police.”
Rounding out the top 10 safest cities in Tennessee are Spring Hill (83.93), Millersville (83.92), Atoka (83.47), Germantown (83.43), and Loudon (82.58).
Other cities in the region that made the rankings include Erwin, 17th; Jonesborough, 26th; Greeneville, 46th; Morristown, 70th; and Elizabethton, 78th.
As for Tennessee’s major cities, Nashville Metropolitan was 61st; Knoxville, 79th; Chattanooga, 83rd; and Memphis, 91st.
The only city in the rankings lower than Memphis was Newport, which was 92nd out of 92 with 14.67 violent crimes and 90.23 property crimes per 1,000 population.
Rogersville, Surgoinsville, Bulls Gap, Bluff City and Piney Flats didn’t make the rankings.
There is a link to the complete rankings of Tennessee's Safest Cities in the online version of this article at www.timesnews.net.