Is Cordova Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On May 9, 2024
Cordova, United States
Safety Index:
62
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Cordova, Tennessee, offers a blend of history, nature, and modern amenities.

Initially a small rural community known for “Farms, Flowers, and Fellowship,” Cordova has evolved into a vibrant suburb of Memphis.

I lived in nearby Germantown 25 years ago, and I’m baffled at how big and crowded Cordova has become!

What was growing into one of the more affluent areas of Memphis is now a mixed bag of what to expect.

Cordova isn’t a town, city, or county.

It’s listed as a “community” with parts annexed from Memphis and some in unincorporated Shelby County.

That scattering also means different law enforcement patrols in different areas.

In the end, piecing together any kind of statistical data for you is challenging at best and impossible at worst.

In the spirit of “If you build it, they will come,” Cordova is now home to more than 60,000 people.

Once a hamlet from the urban challenges of Memphis, now some of those problems are mixing in with the happy hour crowds and shopping districts.

In fact, 10 people living in Cordova could have 10 different yet accurate answers to the safety concerns.

That’s because of the different sections throughout the large footprint.

The challenge for a visitor is that you want to stay near the amenities, which brings up the crime rate.

What you will find in Cordova is a strong community spirit working to keep crime from infiltrating.

This is a suburban dream come true for many, with every shopping and restaurant option you can think of.

However, it doesn’t really give the Memphis “Blues & BBQ” vibe.

Cordova also offers easy access to the interstate to get downtown or head to Nashville.

You get the best of the indoors and outdoors in this dense suburb.

Warnings & Dangers in Cordova

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: MEDIUM

Cordova falls into this weird spot where it's not as dangerous as you think it would be next to Memphis, but it's also not as safe as one might expect of a suburb. I would treat this as a medium risk, especially the closer you get to Memphis.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW

MATA is the public transportation for Memphis. It's fine to use it to get around Cordova, but I'd use caution if you're traveling into Memphis as it might go through dangerous neighborhoods. Taxis and rideshares are easy to find, and rental cars are also available. All options should come with proper safety and protection precautions.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: MEDIUM

Without exact data for Cordova, I would also treat this as a medium risk. Honestly, it's more likely your car will be broken into than being pickpocketed, but you don't want to carry around a lot of cash or wear flashy items here.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM

This is a medium risk due to the potential year-round. Severe thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes are possible starting in spring through fall. Flash flooding, excessive heat, and earthquakes are other risks. Winters usually are pretty mild, but maybe one or two ice/snow storms hit each year, making travel treacherous.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: LOW

You can't let your guard down here due to the overflow of crime from Memphis. While I don't have exact crime data for this unique area that covers several jurisdictions, I go back to the fact that there's a greater chance of a car burglary than an armed robbery, but I wouldn't take your chances with either one. Don't go out at night alone and stay in well-lit, secure areas.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: MEDIUM

The Shelby County Emergency Management Agency has a website section with all the information you need about terrorism safety and training in this area. The risk is medium, just because of the size of the city, but that also comes with a lot of extra security. The far bigger concern is day-to-day crime.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: LOW

Most of the scams here target residents, and you can see the latest ones posted on the social media sites for the police and sheriff. Learn the signs of scammers and common tactics, so you can keep them at a low risk.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: MEDIUM

Treat this as a medium risk. Many places here are family-friendly, but you can't let your guard down in any Memphis neighborhood. Stick with groups of at least three people when you're out, and try to avoid walking around at night.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

Cordova's water comes from Memphis Light, Gas, and Water. The tap water comes from a deep aquifer, not the smelly, polluted Mississippi River. The risk is low, and you can review the latest annual Water Quality Report on the MLGW website before you visit.

Safest Places to Visit in Cordova

Since Cordova isn’t a city or a neighborhood within a city, you’ll need to use the “Memphis Travel” tourism website to find many things to do.

I’ve tried to sort through some of the places in Cordova proper, but keep in mind this is a dense suburban area with a lot of shopping destinations and strip malls.

Some of those shopping stops are among the best in the region, like Wolfchase Galleria Mall, the Bass Pro Shop, and the Market at Wolfcreek.

You’ll also find a great mix of restaurants and an arcade atmosphere at Dave & Busters.

Shelby Farms Park covers 4,500 acres of outdoor fun, with everything from hiking trails to horseback riding to ziplining.

This isn’t your typical park – be sure to explore all the options from the Shelby Farms Park website.

Summer relief comes at the spray water park, and pedal boats are available to ride the lake.

Anglers have special fishing holes and there’s even a section for laser tag or paintball.

Patriot Lake is at the center of the park, but nearly 20 more bodies of water fill the landscape.

Trails are laid out for easy walks, and you don’t even need to leave the park to eat.

Food trucks and restaurants dot the landscape.

You might even catch a glimpse of the bison herd on its own special 50 acres of landscape.

The Cordova Museum is open by appointment and is located in one of the safer neighborhoods of Cordova.

A quick trip to Bartlett lets you explore the past at the Davies Manor Plantation, a preserved 19th-century farmhouse showcasing pioneer life in the region.

The Wolf River flows between Cordova and Germantown, with miles of hiking trails and spots where you can put a boat on the water or just enjoy the views.

Explore the India Cultural Center and Temple, which is open to the public during certain hours each day.

Yoga, temple services, and tours are available.

Check the calendar of events before you go.

Several golf courses are located throughout Cordova, but be sure to check the membership requirements.

Not all of them will be public courses.

Vantage Point Golf Center is a public driving range with night hours, a mini golf course, and ball tracking technology on the driving range.

For rainy days, look at the Urban Air Trampoline Park or indoor go-kart options.

Places to Avoid in Cordova

The most important thing to know about Cordova is that no matter where you are, the crime risk exponentially increases when you cross into Memphis.

Read our article about Memphis to see the most dangerous parts of town.

Some aren’t too far from Cordova.

In Cordova, the area near Appling Farms has higher crime rates.

The farther east you go, the safer you’ll be.

When you’re driving, don’t leave car doors unlocked and try to avoid rolling the windows down through the most sketchy parts of town.

Also, if you look at the Shelby County Sheriff’s Annual Report, you’ll see a list of the most dangerous intersections.

Many are nearby in Germantown or Collierville.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Cordova

  1. Cordova gets law enforcement from two different entities. Some are under Memphis Police jurisdiction. Others are Shelby County Sheriff’s patrol area. You can follow them both on X (Twitter) @ShelbyTNSheriff and @MEM_PoliceDept.
  2. Use the Alert Sense program to get emergency text or email notifications from the county. This could include severe weather, road closures, or public safety threats. It’s important to stay aware of risks, as the Memphis area is prone to severe weather and has crime issues that require a county-wide alert. One example of that is when a man went on a shooting rampage on September 21, where three people were killed and seven injured. Memphis was essentially locked down while the suspect was on a spree of terror.
  3. Shelby County Sheriff’s Office has an app that provides updated criminal activity, safety guidance, and contact information. You can also report any suspicious activity through the app while remaining anonymous.
  4. Do not get involved in any altercations you see happening in Cordova. Your good intentions could lead to you being hurt or killed. Always call the police, even if it’s something as simple as a car break-in. If you are in a dispute, de-escalate the situation and get away from the other person as soon as possible.
  5. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a Heat Risk map that is very helpful for summer. Since Memphis is so humid, the “feels like” temperature can be dangerously high. The heat map works by entering a zip code, and then you’ll see the risks of the weather that day, along with helpful advice to keep cool.
  6. Shelby Farms is a large urban park with great fishing opportunities, but you need a license before you can cast a line. The state issues those through various vendors, or you can purchase them online through the Go Outdoors TN website.
  7. Use 511 TN to check road conditions before you head to a destination. Traffic in Cordova was intense when I lived there 25 years ago; I can’t imagine how bad it is now. Even as I researched this article, I would come across Google traffic maps and backups were in all directions. Be patient and give yourself plenty of time.
  8. If your car does get broken into, please take as many photos or videos as you can before you get too deep into the vehicle. You don’t want to mistakenly erase fingerprints or other identifying DNA left behind. Your insurance company might want that, too. If you file a police report, you need a copy of that report for insurance as well.
  9. Try to visit the shopping areas during daytime hours, ideally on a sunny day. While you’ll face bigger crowds, you also don’t risk walking through a dark parking lot by yourself.
  10. Even though law enforcement is scattered throughout Cordova, calling 911 will get you to the emergency services you need based on your location.

So... How Safe Is Cordova Really?

This might be the toughest city I’ve had to answer this question in the hundreds of articles I’ve written.

Here’s the challenge – Cordova is listed as a “community” with no perfect borders.

Part of it is under the law enforcement of the Memphis Police, and another part is under the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

Then, there’s the fact that Cordova is a large place.

Some Cordova locations are upscale and safe.

Others are prone to crime.

Some are hit or miss – much like Memphis – where one street is safe, and the next one over is not.

In addition, since Shelby County has almost one million people living there, we can’t even guesstimate the crime rates in a community with just 60,000 people.

It borders Memphis, one of the most dangerous cities in America, and Germantown, a safer helmet of upscale amenities.

Another border with Collierville gets closer to the more remote sections of the metro area.

Most of the hotels in Cordova are centered around Wolfchase Galleria Mall.

There’s safety in numbers, but that same logic backfires when criminals from the city come to the suburbs to do mass car break-ins.

The best I can offer you is this – do a crime search in Cordova using Google News.

The reports are shocking – a man was found beaten to death behind a Kroger, another man was shot in a grocery store after intervening during a domestic situation, and four teenagers and one 12-year-old were charged in a carjacking.

In two separate incidents, a waitress was harassed at work by a group of men, only to be shot at on her way home from work.

Then, a group upset about waiting too long to be seated at a restaurant led to the beating of an employee.

The most dangerous parts of Cordova aren’t as dangerous as the worst parts of Memphis, but there are safer places to stay and visit, like Germantown or Collierville.

When you do visit Cordova, lock your car every time.

Leave NOTHING inside the vehicle – not even trash.

Car break-ins are rampant here. I would also suggest reading some subreddits about Memphis and Cordova to hear from locals.

How Does Cordova Compare?

CitySafety Index
Cordova62
Las Vegas62
San Francisco61
Philadelphia60
Houston59
Atlanta58
St. Louis58
Brussels (Belgium)60
Shanghai (China)66
Belize City (Belize)37
La Paz (Bolivia)52
Sao Paulo (Brazil)45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)43

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

International visitors need a visa or a visa waiver to enter the country. The visa waiver has specific guidelines and requirements, but if you meet all those, it's a far easier process than the visa route. Make sure your passport doesn't expire for at least six months from the last day of your trip.

Currency

Currency

You can only use the U.S. Dollar here and the airport should have currency exchange options if you didn't exchange currency at home. However, don't carry a lot of cash here.

Weather

Weather

The weather in Memphis largely sticks to seasonal expectations, but winters can be more on the mild side while summers will be hot and humid - some might even call it oppressive. Bring bug spray for outdoor activities and stay hydrated throughout the day. You might be surprised how much you sweat here - I know I was!

Airports

Airports

Memphis International Airport is 20 miles from Cordova, but with traffic, that ride could take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. It is the closest and largest airport nearby.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance just makes sense when visiting an area with high crime rates and severe weather risks. Be sure you have roadside assistance and uninsured motorist coverage for your rental vehicle.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Cordova Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 5° C
Feb 7° C
Mar 11° C
Apr 17° C
May 21° C
Jun 26° C
Jul 28° C
Aug 27° C
Sep 23° C
Oct 17° C
Nov 11° C
Dec 6° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
101217232731333329231711
Low
°C
-1151015202221171041
High
°F
505463738188919184736352
Low
°F
303441505968727063503934

Tennessee - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Bell Buckle79
Chattanooga69
Clarksville72
Cordova62
Dyersburg62
Franklin75
Gatlinburg82
Germantown70
Hendersonville79
Johnson City68
Jonesborough78
Kingsport52
Knoxville57
Lawrenceburg77
Memphis54
Murfreesboro78
Nashville58
Pigeon Forge78
Pulaski79
Rogersville76
Sevierville73
Wears Valley78

Where to Next?

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