Agencies Partner to Produce Snapshot of Pandemic's Impact on Public Safety


To illustrate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the volume and nature of crime in the state, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released select preliminary crime data trends for the first three months of 2020.

The data, gathered through TBI’s Tennessee Incident Based Reporting System (TIBRS), compiles incidents submitted by the state’s law enforcement agencies. The preliminary statistics, subject to change as agencies investigate these reported incidents further, reveal the following:

  • Comparing January through March of 2019 and 2020, reported instances of burglary decreased by approximately 17%.

  • Burglaries reported as having occurred in a home decreased approximately 20%, while those reported in many public places increased, including convenience stores (up more than 15% year-to-year), liquor stores (up approximately 53%), and department/discount stores (up more than 15%).

  • Crimes reported as having a domestic violence nexus decreased by approximately 4% percent comparing the same time periods.

  • The combined number of reported thefts and crimes designated as violent in nature decreased by more than 5%. However, the number of those crimes involving a firearm increased by more than 3%.

“We are thankful to the state’s law enforcement agencies for prioritizing these data submissions,” said TBI Director David Rausch. “This snapshot helps all stakeholders have a better idea of how the pandemic has impacted public safety. I join all of my law enforcement colleagues in reminding the public all of our agencies are here to help during this, and every, emergency.”

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