I was as surprised as anyone when I saw that my city, Thornton, CO, was recently named America’s safest city. It strikes me as an average suburban bedroom community, large enough to have some very pricey neighborhoods and some older areas that I try to avoid. But however the statisticians manipulated their numbers, they concluded that Thornton is Number One. I shall graciously accept the accolade but continue to question the numbers.
The top ten safest cities in the study were:
- Thornton, CO
- Greenwich, CT
- Weston, FL
- Johns Creek, GA
- Sammamish, WA
- Wheaton, IL
- Flower Mound, TX
- Middletown Township, NJ
- West Bloomfield Township, MI
- Aliso Viejo, CA
Castle Rock, CO, finished 75th. Centennial, CO, finished 59th, and Parker, CO, finished 33rd. The website was created by the National Council for Home Safety and Security trade association and the rankings were establisehd by Alarms.org, where you can see the rankings of all 100 cities.
Of Thornton, the study says:
Coming in at number one is Thornton, Colorado. Located in the northeastern Denver metropolitan area, this city is an ideal location for anyone who enjoys nature and wants to be close to the city. The city contains over 80 miles of trails for hiking and bird watching. Thornton has also has a young median age of 32, so it is a good place for any young family. Its growing population of 136,703 means that there will be many great things to come for current and future residents.
The numbers cited are:
244 Violent crimes per 100k
2,533 Property crimes per 100k
It’s a good Chamber of Commerce kind of story. Personally I’d want to know a lot more about what statistics were gathered and how they were handled. Truthfully my first reaction was that maybe the city is just growing so fast that the criminals can’t keep up.
*Interestingly, the same organizations published a list of Colorado’s safest cities in February 2017, and Thornton didn’t even make the top 50. I suspect it’s because the city did not submit a complete crime report to the FBI, per the methodology described in the article. And much to my annoyance several years ago, the city stopped releasing crime reports to public sources such as the LexisNexis Community Crime Map.
You know what they say about liars and figures. Methinks there’s something fishy going on here.