Is Your City Safe?

For what its worth, an annual ranking of the relative safety of 371 American cities lists St. Louis as the most dangerous (followed by Detroit and Flint) while designating Brick, NJ as the safest. The rankings are based on an assessment of FBI crime statistics.

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    There's something odd about the list. (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Pete Guither on Mon Oct 30, 2006 at 09:07:04 AM EST
    The article says: "The rankings are limited to the 371 cities with more than 75,000 residents, and are based on recently released FBI statistics."   And goes on to list 371 cities.

    And yet there is not a single Illinois city that I could find on that list.  Not even Chicago.

    I'm pretty sure that all of the following Illinois cities have more than 75,000 residents:  Chicago, Aurora, Rockford, Naperville, Joliet, Springfield, Peoria, Elgin, Waukegan, Cicero, Decatur, Evanston.  None are on the list.

    Illinois Reports Differently (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by archpundit on Mon Oct 30, 2006 at 09:58:48 AM EST
    I used to know the full details, but essentially Illinois collects data in a different way and isn't cooperative with the FBI over providing the stats so all cities in Illinois are excluded from the analysis.

    The larger problem with the study for Saint Louis is that the central city itself has been landlocked since the 19th Century by the State Constitution--thus areas in the suburbs that would normally have becomes Saint Louis, are not included making the proportion of crime high in the area that holds the vast majority of concentrated poverty.  Most cities have areas to even that out, in Saint Louis, much of that area is suburban and not counted. Similar problems exist with Baltimore.  


    methodology (none / 0) (#6)
    by Joe Bob on Mon Oct 30, 2006 at 01:15:29 PM EST
    I did a quick Google search on the methodology of the rankings, which explains a lot if you're interested. There are about 30 cities with populations greater than 75,000 omitted from the ranking because they don't report crime statistics in a way that conforms with the poll's methods.

    Also, some locales don't report stats as 'cities' but as counties, metropolitan districts, or metropolitan service areas. Some are included, some aren't. Depending on what you do or don't include in a particular district could change the numbers quite a bit. So, take all of these things into consideration and it seems that the relative safety of any particular city could vary as much as 20+ places.


    Arizona (none / 0) (#3)
    by jazzcattg1 on Mon Oct 30, 2006 at 10:31:40 AM EST
    The self-proclaimed "Toughest Sheriff" Arpaio must not be too stringent with the largest city in Maricopa County, with Phoenix,AZ weighing in at 313...I am surprised that where I live, Socttsdale, AZ came in relatively high (82)-while relatively there may not be much physical crime, there are quite a few burglaries and traffic wise, the red light running is epidemic.

    Sheriff patrol Cities? (none / 0) (#5)
    by Patrick on Mon Oct 30, 2006 at 01:11:08 PM EST
    Is it your belief that the Sheriff of Maricopa County is reponsible for law enforcement within the city limits of Pheonix?  Becuase I thought the Sheriff's Department was separate from Pheonix PD, but I could be wrong.  

    Safe? (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Mon Oct 30, 2006 at 11:34:52 AM EST
    I feel safer in my so-called "bad" neighborhood than I do in my sister's so-called "safe" community.  Too many cops in her 'hood.

    Then again...I'm a criminal:) I'm a heckuva lot more afraid of getting arrested than getting murdered or mugged.