KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)--Fewer people were murdered in Knoxville last year than in 2009, said Knoxville Police Department spokesman Darrell DeBusk. "Violent crimes are down by over 4%."
But the view from the street, where most of us live, is much different. East Knoxville resident Monica Worley said, "the police can do way more to take care of the crimes in Knoxville, Tennessee." Worley added, "I don't feel safer at all. I don't feel safe for my 16 month old daughter either."
DeBusk blames drugs. He said, "the biggest problem that's affecting a lot of communities is the prescription pill problem. Drug problems drive your crime rates."
Despite the prescription pill problem, KPD has been able to clean up the streets; by working with the feds. DeBusk said, "when you do federal time, you're going to be locked away for a lot longer."
But what about property crimes? There were more home burglaries and car thefts last year than the year before. "They go to parking lots, shopping centers, malls, apartment complexes, anywhere that they can find a lot of vehicles and they can move in and out of quickly; that's the kind of places they will target," said DeBusk.
So what can you do to avoid being the next target? He said, "don't leave your laptop, don't leave your cell phone, don't leave money, CD's, your GPS unit.."
And speak up; if you see something, say something. He said, "it really does take the community getting involved, reporting what they see, and letting the investigators take that information and use it to make an arrest."