Ok, Memphis isn't that bad. It's like every other city in that there are areas that you don't want to live in or go at night.
If you live in a city, you probably have an area like this or maybe multiple areas. If you can help it, you don't live there. If it's nighttime, you don't go there. Memphis just has a lot more of these areas. Residents in Memphis aren't living elbow to elbow with crooks. The crooks mainly stay in the terrible parts of town.
For instance, I lived in East Memphis for about a year and a half. The house I rented from a family member would probably sell for about a half a million dollars in a good market. Everyone in that neighborhood is some sort of lawyer, doctor, corporate officer, etc. We lived down the street from a golf course/subdivision with even more expensive housing. In fact, I lived about a mile away from where John Calipari lived before he went all Judas Iscariot and went to UK.
My point is, it was an extremely nice area. It was safe to go running at 10:00 at night and I did often. Children played in the streets routinely. Women walked their babies in strollers around constantly. Yard sales were conducted weekly.
Now, drive about 5 miles south and the landscape is significantly different. You'd be skirting the edges of what we affectionately call "Orange Mound." You don't go to Orange Mound after dark and I wouldn't ever recommend going there unless you're strapped or looking to get robbed. I'm not saying that driving through the area guarantees that you'll be robbed, only that the chances are significantly increased in that area.
Downtown is also nice. We have some bums, but none are very aggressive. Downtown is heavily policed as follows: As far south as Beale Street up north to the Pinch District (Pyramid). As far east as Danny Thomas to as far west as the Mississippi River. Police also heavily police both Poplar Avenue and Union/Walnut Grove (same street) both of which run all the way to the Mississippi back through Germantown. Those roads are usually extremely safe. Go north or south of them, and the chances of running into trouble increase.
I have lived in Memphis my entire life and I have only been the subject of crime once. My truck was broken into at work. It was the product of stupid, bored, white suburban kids wanting my stereo. I have neverb een the subject of violent crime, nor have I witnessed violent crime.
All that said, I still prefer to live where I do now. Not because of crime, but because I hate the croweded city. I like the less crowded country.
Re: Germantown. It's a haven for white flight. When "white" neighborhoods started going "black," the rich, white people all moved to Germantown. They make sure that property values and taxes stay high so that no one of a lower social class can move there. While this may sound like a crappy thing to do, it works. Their police officers are so bored that they are the strictest S.O.B.'s about speeding in this part of Tennessee. They have no crime. None. Nadda. Nil. Nihilio. Their neighborhoods are pristine despite the fact that most of the houses and subdivisions are 20+ years old. Their schools system is adequate, which is outstanding considering the surroundings.
If I were to live in Shelby county, I'd live in Germantown or East Memphis. Colliverville is nice, but is going downhill fast. I'd rather live in a surrounding county though and pay less taxes and deal with fewer douchebags. I want to keep chickens in my yard too.
2014 Season Totals:
Blue Geese: 134
Snow Geese: 178