City officials dispute claim marking Guntersville a 'dangerous c - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

City officials dispute claim marking Guntersville a 'dangerous city'

A Mobile TV station posted a list in which a company identifies Guntersville as unsafe. (Source: WAFF) A Mobile TV station posted a list in which a company identifies Guntersville as unsafe. (Source: WAFF)

A story swirling online names Guntersville the sixth most-dangerous city in Alabama.

TV station WKRG in Mobile posted the story, and cited a company called Safe Choice Security for the list. Company officials said they never posted that list.

We contacted the station to find out where they got the information.

WKRG said they asked Safe Choice Security for a list of unsafe cities, after the company released their list of the 15 safest cities in Alabama.

Safe Choice Security said that conversation with WKRG was off-the-record, and the company hasn't completed a list of dangerous cities.

People are concerned about the impact the report could have - a simple search of the term "Guntersville" could also bring up the words "dangerous city."

Guntersville is known for being a tourist destination with one of the best bass lakes in the entire country. A crime-ridden city is not what they're known for.

But the media report, followed by it's proliferation through Facebook and social media is giving the town a bad name. The list also included the Marshall County city of Arab.

Both Guntersville Mayor Leigh Dollar and Arab Mayor Bob Joslin are not pleased.

Dollar said it's very concerning when information is put out that is simply not true of their town.

"I am very concerned about a long term impact because I think this company, this survey that they have done, can have a very negative impact on our community," Dollar said. "That's the last thing that we want to happen. On the county as a whole, I think it can be very negative."

Guntersville, ranked 6th on the list, has not had a murder in the city since 2009. In comparison, Prichard police investigated a 14-year-old who brought a gun to school Wednesday, and reportedly tried to fire it twice at another student.

Officials with Safe Choice Security said they've put a disclaimer on the bottom of their website. It reads:

To improve the accuracy and usefulness of our list, we chose to exclude small communities with populations below 5,000 in our rankings. Our rankings are determined by national crime statistics published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Our rankings are only as accurate as the local population and crime statistics officially released by the FBI.

WKRG has since pulled the list from their story.

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