MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- FBI statistics break down each state's number of violent crime cases in 2012, and Tennessee came out on top.
The report showed that Tennessee had 643.6 violent crimes for every 100,000 people.
The rankings take into account murder and negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, property crime, burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft.
Tipton County Sheriff Pancho Chumley said a magazine recently awarded Tipton the rank of third safest county in the country.
Sheriff Chumley called Tennessee's violent crime rank "concerning," and suggested that the state prioritize punishment for crimes.
"When someone commits a violent crime, a murder, a rape, a child molestation, and they get put to death row, sentenced to death row, then let's not wait for 20 years," Chumley said.
Chumley said Tipton County residents generally know their neighbors and call law enforcement about suspicious activity. He said that helps keep the community safe.
Covington business owner Phyllis Collier grew up in Memphis but moved to Tipton County later on.
She said there was a great deal of violent crime during her time in Memphis.
"It's sad to say but in traveling like for work or whatever, you go to other big cities and turn on the news and it's not about a shooting every morning," Collier said.
There do not appear to be official final FBI numbers available for 2013; however, preliminary reports show violent crime might have decreased in the South by nearly six percent.
Nevada and Alaska rank number two and number three on the list respectively.