MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - For the third year in a row, the University of Memphis is ranked the safest college campus in the state. Too bad the same can't be said about the city of Memphis. Once again, Memphis made the FBI’s "most dangerous cities" list. Now the U of M wants to help the city clean up that image.
"I hear people that are from different parts of Tennessee that will tell people that are going to University of Memphis 'oh you're still alive?!' They'll make jokes about it,” said U of M Freshman Caroline McGuinn.
It's a stereotype many students and faculty members at the U of M are trying to erase.
"Tiger Patrol and the police are always around at night. You can call Tiger Patrol and they can escort you in your room or where ever you need to go,” senior Prestiga Gudger told abc24.com.
"Knowing that I go to a school that I don’t really have to worry about anything happening to me makes me feel safe," said U of M Sophomore William Jackson.
Unfortunately, the same can't be said about surrounding neighborhoods. Right off campus near the Tillman Police Station crime is up 4% from in 2010. In Whitehaven, it's up 6.5%. The downtown area is bucking the trend. Crime is actually down 14%. According to MPD those crimes include aggravated assault, auto theft, burglary, homicide, larceny, rape and robbery. As for the university, the most common crime is theft. Campus police told abc24.com they're on top of it.
“Last year we had a decrease almost 7% on our campus," said U of M Police Director Bruce Harber.
Harber said campus cops are always looking for new ways to fight crime.
"We continue to add technology. For example, we have over 500 video cameras on campus that are now all digitally web based,” said Harber.
Another safety feature on campus are the cameras on top of emergency phone stations. There are at least 35 throughout campus and many of the cameras spin 360 degrees. Students believe the U of M's low crime rate is helping to improve Memphis' reputation.
"I think it's making Memphis look better and will probably bring more students here and more people here,” said Freshman McGuinn. “I think it's awesome that we're making a name for our campus."