HomeSnacks recently ranked Loudon the third safest city in Tennessee for 2020.
Using FBI Uniform Crime Report, the U.S. Census, OpenStreetMaps and other sources, the website collects data on violent and property crimes to determine which cities are the safest.
Loudon ranked eighth last year.
Loudon Police Chief James “Bear” Webb credits the community for the distinction.
“We (Loudon) were ranked No. 1 in 2015, and since then it seems we are always in the top 10,” he said. “No. 8 last year, so we moved up this year. But I do not think ... Loudon Police Department can take credit for all of it. Most of the credit should be to the people we serve.”
Because Loudon is a smaller community, there are more opportunities to build connections and relationships.
“It’s kind of a close-knit group in the town and they are active in several different avenues, whether it’s the chamber or other civic groups, Rotary, Lions Club or something like that,” Jeff Harris, Loudon mayor, said. “There’s a lot involved in those groups, which helps.”
Community relationships extend into the fire and police departments, Harris said.
“Our police officers are so involved in the community,” he said. “They’re coaching softball or soccer. They’re coaching baseball. They’re so involved with the community because it’s their community. Their kids are playing in this and that but they’re just a hands-on type of department.
“Close-knit, and they’re really respected quite a bit in the community, too.”
In larger cities, there is a general “mistrust of institutions like police departments,” Ty Ross, city manager, said.
“I think it’s just a lack of connection, a lack of understanding that causes that mistrust. The more proactive you are the better chance you have to avoid that,” he said.
City fire and police departments take extra steps.
“The (Insurance Services Office) is a nationwide organization that ranks fire departments, so it’s an outside, third-party source that comes in and inspects everything, our firefighters, what they do, what type of equipment they have, where everything’s located,” Ross said. “They rank it, I think, from one to nine, one being the best.
“We (Loudon) just moved up from class 4 to class 3.”
Harris said the change benefits residents by potentially reducing homeowner’s insurance premiums.
“Chief Webb and other members of the staff are in Nashville looking into state accreditation, and that’s similar to ISO where an outside, third-party source ... and have certain criteria and standards for law enforcement and those would be reviewed and checked upon with the Loudon Police Department,” Ross said.
“Our people have placed our leaders, the mayor, council, the manager, myself and all the employees of the city in our positions to serve,” Webb added. “With the people we serve, we all work together to make Loudon the best place to live and raise families.”