Police director, neighbors disagree that Memphis neighborhoods a - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Police director, neighbors disagree that Memphis neighborhoods are 'most dangerous'

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(WMC-TV) - Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong says it just isn't so. He says listing two Memphis neighborhoods among the most dangerous in the country is irresponsible.

On St. Paul Avenue near Walnut Street, the dogs are not the only ones protective of the neighborhood.

"Grew up in South Memphis, moved to North Memphis, didn't like it. Came back to South Memphis," said Edward Hopson.

Hopson has lived in the neighborhood for years and refutes a recent neighborhoodscout.com study that ranks his neighborhood as the 23rd most dangerous in the country.

Hopson's anger is matched on the 12th floor at 201 Poplar, where MPD Director Toney Armstrong says he has never heard from neighborhoodscout.com.

"I'm frustrated more for the citizens," said Armstrong.

Armstrong provided four pages of crime stats for the St.Paul-Walnut neighborhood, as well as the Gaston area, which was ranked 12th most dangerous on the list.

"You have an outsider that's drawing a conclusion about something that in my opinion they know absolutely nothing about," he said.

"I don't think it's good science. Ignore it," said Dr. Richard Janikowski, University of Memphis.

University of Memphis Criminologist Dr. Richard Janikowski believes the study to be flawed because it relies on FBI data he describes as unreliable in rankings.

Yes, both neighborhoods have issues, he says, but...

"Are they among the 25 worst in the country? We have no way of knowing that. We have no way of testing their methodology," he said.

Regardless of method, Edward Hopson lives it everyday.

He says only death will force him out.

"I like this, like this neighborhood. I ain't going nowhere. They're gonna have to bury me here," he said.

And certainly not a list.

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