Clarksville officials dispute "dangerous suburb" ranking
CLARKSVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- Is Clarksville really the sixth-most dangerous suburb in America?
A new survey says it is, but officials in Clarksville say the numbers lie.
The survey was compiled by a San Francisco-based real estate company, Movoto, and it's causing quite a stir some 2,000 miles away in Clarksville.
It's not the kind of history Clarksville wants to make.
"I almost laughed, first of all. I think its ridiculous," said Clarksville Town Council President Bob Polston.
"I thought it was insane. I don't know any other way to put it. I thought it was insane," said Police Chief Mark Palmer.
The company says the ranking is based on 2012 FBI stats including murder, violent crime and property crime per 100,000 people.
Clarksville sits between No. 5 Miami Gardens, Fla., and No. 7 Glendale, Ariz.
"Until I see something that changes my mind or attitude, I'm appalled," said Polston.
The survey ranks Clarksville third in property crime, 13th in violent crime, 22nd for murders.
But Clarksville officials say their numbers show that crime has actually been decreasing in Clarksville over the past two years, while arrests have gone up.
"We've definitely increased our patrols here in Clarksville. We're trying to be more active. We're trying to be more vigilant in reference to the drug activities from outside area trying to come into Clarksville," said Palmer.
The police chief says Movoto's numbers are skewed because Clarksville has such a large retail presence for its small population of 22,000.
That helps explain one crime that has gone up -- shoplifting.
"Those people coming into these businesses, the shoplifting, that's where the numbers are hitting hard," said Palmer.
Movoto admits it does the surveys to get media attention, but stands by the results.
"If people want to refute it, that's fine. But if I lived in a dangerous neighborhood, I would want to know," Movoto spokesman Travis Sawrie told WDRB.
Town officials are extending an invitation to anyone from Movoto to actually visit Clarksville. They say they'll feel much safer here than they would in San Francisco.
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