Residents react to being one of the most dangerous cities in America

Residents react to being one of the most dangerous cities in America
(Source: KAIT)

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) - A poll conducted by Gallup found Blytheville as one of three Region 8 cities labeled the 30 Most Dangerous Cities in America.

"We've been making a lot of lists that people have been coming out with here lately," said Sandy Gillespie, director of Healing in the Hood and Blytheville resident. "I refuse to believe that we are one of the most dangerous cities in America."

Blytheville was on Gallup's list last year ranked 27th, but this year the city has moved up to 14th.

Based off of the recent crime that has occurred over the past few weeks, including seven shootings in just 24 hours, many are not surprised.

Despite all that has happened and even with such a high ranking, some Gillespie feels the dangers of Blytheville have been exaggerated.

"Blytheville is not dangerous," said Gillespie. "I don't have to worry about walking down the street and someone shooting me and if you walked down the street you wouldn't have to worry about it either."

This ranking is also something that Mike Vaughn, manager of Rent One in Blytheville, feels is based off the type of environment people are in.

"Everything about the city is going to be what the people make of it," said Vaughn. "So you know, if everybody comes together then you know, you'll have everything flourishing in the right direction. But if everybody stays on their individual paths then destruction is where it'll be."

Blytheville Police Chief Ross Thompson said he does not base decisions off surveys like this and said his department is always working to reduce crime.

He also said that the city would probably be lower on the list of dangerous cities if he was fully staffed and had appropriate resources.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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