JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The city of Jonesboro released statistics that may surprise some residents.
Jonesboro city officials gave Region 8 News statistics from www.Alarm.org, which ranks Jonesboro the 20th safest city in Arkansas.
"That's in comparison to about 500 other cities," Bill Campbell, Jonesboro spokesman said.
Police Chief Rick Elliott chimed in on the statistics and tackled the perception of Jonesboro being a violent town when statistics show differently.
"I understand it's alarming when you turn on the news and there's a reported shooting here and then one there," Chief Elliott said. "That's concerning."
However, Elliott said looking at the city's crime stats within the past 10 years, overall, they have not increased.
He said the city did have a spike in homicides in 2017, which went from an average of 3-5 homicides to seven last year.
"This is when you compare the crime trend with the rapid growth of Jonesboro by like 13,000 in ten years, in this case, crime numbers have gone down," Elliott said.
The police department continues to thrive in community policing and having community-wide events that build relationships.
"I feel that this has helped our city," he said. "I'm proud of our officers, they work day in and day out keeping our town safe, but it is more than that. It has taken so many people for the community to succeed"
He said many of crimes in Jonesboro are drug-related and the majority of citizens should not feel threatened in their daily lives.
"The average citizen walking down the street and not involved in anything criminal going on your odds of being subjected to some kind of criminal behavior are very slim," Elliott said.
"We don't give this report to diminish the suffering of anyone who has been the victim of a crime," Campbell said. "We understand that when you are the victim, statistics don't mean a whole lot. We want people to understand that compared to cities like us in the state, we are doing quite well."