Is Dyersburg Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On May 5, 2024
Dyersburg, United States
Safety Index:
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Dyersburg sits on the Forked Deer River of northwest Tennessee and embodies the charm of a small Southern town but has the history of a much larger city.

The Chickasaw first lived off this land but signed a treaty in 1818 to sell the land to the government.

That opened the door for settlers to move in and set up a river town.

Steamboats from the Mississippi River worked their way to the Forked Deer River.

After a few Civil War battles, Dyersburg flourished as a railroad town, too.

World War II brought the Dyersburg Army Air Base to help train bombers.

Just four years after it opened, the war was over, and so was the air base.

It was decommissioned in 1946 but still holds a museum.

In 1963, famed singer Patsy Cline was last seen alive in Dyersburg before her plane crashed 15 minutes later on the way to Nashville.

Hawkshaw Hawkins and Cowboy Copas were two other performers on the plane.

The 1990s brought the founding motorcycle brand Boss Hoss to Dyersburg, a proud tradition that is still located there today.

Visitors are welcomed and encouraged to come tour the showroom and building facility.

Dyersburg is also a haven for outdoor lovers, with lakes, parks, and wildlife refuges all around.

This is about as Southern as a town can get, even though it’s technically in a region called the Mid-South.

People are conservative and speak with a drawl, and you can find authentic Southern cooking at several restaurants in town.

Now, before I make this sound too appealing, let’s see how safe Dyersburg is, and that’s where history is being made once again.

Warnings & Dangers in Dyersburg

Overall Risk


There's a medium risk in Dyersburg, mostly because of the crime rates but also because there aren't a lot of things to do. Without designated tourist stops, randomly looking for something to do could be risky.

Transport & Taxis Risk


No fixed route public transportation is available here, as it is a remote area surrounded by nature. Even taxis and rideshare can be found only sparingly. A rental car is the best option.

Pickpockets Risk


In the past five years, just three pickpockets or purse snatchings have been reported. The risk is statistically low, but the theft rates overall are incredibly high. Watch your stuff and lock your car.

Natural Disasters Risk


This place runs the gamut, so it's a medium risk. Dyersburg is near the New Madrid Fault line, which could mean minor rumblings or a massive earthquake (though unlikely). Severe thunderstorms can spawn tornadoes, especially in spring, but throughout the summer as well. Flooding is a problem in Dyersburg after heavy rain or swollen rivers.

Mugging Risk


Just 15% of robberies here are muggings, according to crime data from the past five years. It's a statistically low risk, but with high violent crime rates, I'd use extra caution to avoid being out at night alone.

Terrorism Risk


This is a low risk due to the remote location. It's about as far away from a major city as possible in northwest Tennessee.

Scams Risk


Sadly, the violent crime rate here is so high that people are more likely to take something by force than by manipulation. However, even the scams that are reported are largely focused on people who live here.

Women Travelers Risk


Statistically, women are less likely to be victims of violent crime here, but there's no getting around the crime rates that would make anyone nervous. Treat this as a medium risk and try to travel in pairs or groups, especially at night.

Tap Water Risk


The 2022 Water Quality Report shows full compliance and no violations in accordance with the Safe Water Drinking Act. Be sure to check that the water is safe if you're there after a flood.

Safest Places to Visit in Dyersburg

The Dyersburg Dyer Chamber of Commerce offers a free travel guide you can view online, and you don’t have to give any personal information to access it.

It covers the city of Dyersburg, Dyer County, and northwest Tennessee within 40 miles of Dyer County.

Take a stroll around the historic downtown area and admire the architecture of the courthouse.

You’ll find quaint shops, cafes, and restaurants dotted around the square, which is quite typical for small-town Tennessee.

At least 45 buildings surround the square with late Victorian architecture.

At the center is the historic courthouse, built in 1911.

More history can be found at the nearby Dyer County Museum.

This might be the best place to start since many things to see are statues, memorials and cannons throughout the town or county.

The Dyersburg Army Air Base Memorial commemorates the Dyersburg Army Air Base that operated during World War II.

The memorial is located at the Dyersburg Municipal Airport and features displays, artifacts, and information about the history of the air base and its significance during the war.

Even though the museum has Dyersburg in the name, it’s located 11 miles south in Halls, Tennessee.

Bikini Bottoms Off Road and Zip Line Park offer adventures on the ground and in the sky.

You can ride (or watch others ride) four-wheelers, motorcycles, and ATVs or ride the second-longest zipline in America.

Reelfoot Lake State Park is a short drive away and well worth the trip.

The powerful earthquakes created the lake in 1811 and 1812.

This lake is also different because it’s technically a flooded forest, and you’ll see old-growth trees right in the middle of the lake.

Enjoy activities such as birdwatching, fishing, boating, and hiking across 15,000 acres.

Places to Avoid in Dyersburg

Dyersburg isn’t that big, and there isn’t much to do.

After reviewing the crime data and crime reports from the past few years, I would strongly recommend you stay away from any neighborhood where you don’t know someone.

Crime data maps show the southern part of the town has the highest crime rates.

The northwest section has the fewest crimes reported.

Also, check the hunting season dates in Tennessee.

This is a busy area for hunting, and you want to ensure you wear hunter orange if you’re in a natural area where hunters are perched.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Dyersburg

  1. Dyersburg has a local police department. Follow them on Facebook @DyersburgPD. The phone number is (731) 285-1212 should you wish to ask specific safety questions.
  2. Visit the Dyersburg Emergency Management website to read the Disaster Preparedness Guide. Additional safety information is available on the YouTube page @dyersburgemergencyoperatio2849. Learn about the safety steps before, during, and after a disaster like a tornado or earthquake.
  3. Also, review the flood inundation maps, as Dyersburg is prone to flooding. In 2010, the city saw historic flooding, with water chest-high in most places. The maps help you avoid places most likely to flood first and show you how to escape if a flood happens.
  4. You can download the city of Dyersburg app to stay in touch with the police and city leaders. This is also a great way to get community alerts, like a broken water main or finding sandbags for flooding.
  5. Use 511 TN to check road conditions and real-time traffic in the state. Since Dyersburg is so close to Arkansas and Missouri, you should know that the state traffic websites do NOT cross state lines. I took the liberty of finding those for you, too. Arkansas is IDrive Arkansas, and Missouri uses the MoDOT system.
  6. Don’t let the fact that Dyerburg is so close to the New Madrid Fault Line scare you away. Los Angeles and San Francisco are also near major fault lines. The last big earthquake in the New Madrid Zone was in 1895. While it’s true a big quake could happen at anytime, that’s true of many fault lines. Just be prepared in the rare event it happens.
  7. Most of the hotels are gathered in the same spot close to the interstate. This is one of the safer parts of town, but watch out for hotel deals that are deeply discounted. Stick to hotel chains with names you recognize. A quick Google search for “Dyersburg Hotel Crime” will bring up several locations in town. One had so many calls to police it was declared a public nuisance.
  8. Dyersburg Police use the Flock cameras to read the license plates of every car that goes through town. This is only used if they need to search for a vehicle connected to a crime. While your license plate will be read, it won’t even be noticed unless it is used in a crime or stolen.
  9. Don’t go anywhere near the Mississippi River for fishing or swimming. It’s a dangerous body of water. And, if I’m honest, it is quite stinky.
  10. Anglers need a fishing license from the state of Tennessee. You can visit the Go Outdoors TN website to get information about that. If you’re interested in hunting or boating, that information is available there as well. Just be sure you’re always looking at the “non-resident” licenses and rules.

So... How Safe Is Dyersburg Really?

The statistics are shocking – violent crime is 82% higher than the state average as of 2022 and 186% higher than the national average.

Despite the high crime rate, the numbers are actually down 29% compared to 2015.

The only respite is that 56% of violent crimes happen in private homes, and just 6% of all violent crimes over the past five years were against strangers.

Car thefts have doubled in the past decade, with a rate that now averages one a week.

Theft rates are 153% higher than the national average, with shoplifting accounting for 42% of all thefts.

About one in five thefts are related to a car break-in or accessory theft.

Even with the high theft rate, it’s still down by half compared to a decade ago.

Those are the statistics, but here’s the context.

The vast majority of crimes here are related to gangs, guns, or drugs.

While you might not expect a small town in rural Tennessee to be a hotbed of gang activity, it is.

The local police work with state and federal officials to combat these challenges every year.

Of course, staying away from illegal activities greatly lowers your risk, but using big-city smarts in this small town matters too.

That’s because criminals involved in gangs and drug sales might not target you, but they aren’t too concerned about your safety if you get in the way.

Use common sense and situational awareness, and you might not even notice the high crime rates.

How Does Dyersburg Compare?

CitySafety Index
San Diego67
Melbourne (Australia)80
Montreal (Canada)81
Sydney (Australia)80
Santiago de Chile (Chile)71
Vienna (Austria)88
Hong Kong (China)70

Useful Information



International visitors need a visa or visa waiver to get through Customs and Border Patrol. Passports must be more than six months from expiring. You will not be able to enter the country if your passport isn't valid for the next six months. Full details for getting a visa are on the U.S. State Department website.



You can only use the U.S. Dollar (USD) here. Currency exchange options are at the Memphis airport, but your home bank will offer the best rates and lowest fees.



Plan for four robust seasons, with heat and humidity being overwhelming in the summer. You'll want breathable fabrics in light colors for your clothing choices. Bring bug spray. Winters are usually mild, but you'll still want a jacket or a light coat.



Dyersburg does have a regional airport, but it looks like it's general aviation and not commercial. You can get to Memphis International Airport in 90 minutes and Nashville International Airport in less than three hours.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance should cover the loss/theft of your baggage, emergencies, delays, cancelations, and rental car coverage. While you can piecemeal some of that, buying comprehensive travel insurance is the best investment.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Dyersburg Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 4° C
Feb 6° C
Mar 11° C
Apr 16° C
May 22° C
Jun 26° C
Jul 27° C
Aug 27° C
Sep 23° C
Oct 17° C
Nov 10° C
Dec 6° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Tennessee - Safety by City

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Johnson City68
Pigeon Forge78
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