FBI: Volunteer State ranked most dangerous in nation - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

FBI: Volunteer State ranked most dangerous in nation

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

It's not a list any state wants to lead.

Tennessee has been named the most dangerous state in the nation according to a review of FBI crime data from 2012.

The Volunteer State has the highest number of aggravated assaults and it ranks in the Top 10 for murders and robberies, the FBI report said.

This list was put together by the investment research website 247WallSt.com. The site went over the FBI's 2012 crime report, ran the numbers, and Tennessee had the highest per capita violent crime rate.

MORE: Tennessee tops list of states with highest violent crime rate

There are about 643 violent crimes per every 100,000 people in the state. Nashville ranks as the 18th most dangerous city and Memphis ranks fifth.

"What we have to stay focused on is that the numbers here in Shelby County are looking in the right direction and are moving in the right direction," said Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich, who added crime is down.

READ: FBI.gov crime in the United States in 2012

According to the latest numbers violent crime is down just over eight percent (8.1%) Over last year, and since 2006 the violent crime rate has dropped by more than 22 percent (22.1%).

"We still have to continue doing what this office does best, which is holding people accountable at the same time participating in and doing as much as we can for the prevention and the intervention piece," DAG Weirich said.

Prosecutors from across the state have been pushing for tougher laws to crack down on criminals, DAG Weirich added. Earlier this year Gov. Bill Haslam was in Memphis in late June to sign a new law mandating stricter sentences for gang crimes.

"We've come a long way in the State of Tennessee in getting some tough tough laws which help us send the worst of the worst behind bars for as long as we can," DAG Weirich said.

But the county's top prosecutor says it's about more than law enforcement. She credits several community programs for helping cut the crime like the grassy anti-gang program in the schools and Memphis Police's COPS Program.

"We can't do it by ourselves," DAG Weirich. "Law enforcement can't arrest their way or our way out of these problems. We as prosecutors can't prosecute our way out of these problems. It takes everybody working together and making sure that we're keeping Shelby County as safe and strong as we can."

DAG Weirich said fighting domestic violence needs to be a top priority. She says many of the murders in Shelby County are linked to domestic violence. She says she hopes other cites and counties around the state can adopt some of the programs and strategies working in Shelby County.

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