MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Is Meridian the most dangerous city in Mississippi? According to analysis website 24/7 Wall Street, Meridian is the most violent city in the state. The site says Meridian has a violent crime rate of 500 reported incidents a year.
One resident says her daughter is afraid to exercise outside in the city.
"I try to get her to walk and she won't even walk around the block," said resident Sharon Dunn.
Another says she does not think Meridian has that many violent crimes to be considered unsafe.
"I don't think it's that many, to be named the most dangerous city," said resident Zykeria Rogers.
Police Chief Benny Dubose says he doesn't think so either.
"USA Today can say whatever they choose; it sells papers. But the facts are here," Dubose said.
The data 24/7 Wall Street used to determine Meridian is the most dangerous is from a 2017 Uniform Crime Report. However, all cities in Mississippi aren't included in the analysis, one of them being the state's capital of Jackson. Chief Dubose considers this a major error.
"The formula that they used to determine Meridian was the most dangerous city in the state was flawed," said Dubose. "If you're going to label the city of Meridian as being the most violent based on state averages, you need to make sure you have all the state's input."
Meridian was actually considered one of the safest cities in the state just two years ago. Chief Dubose says according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Report, Meridian's violent crimes have declined every year since 2013.
"I will put those numbers up against any other city in the state," Dubose said.
Although the chief says Meridian can do better to be a safer city, he says it is improving.
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