With police currently investigating a homicide in the River Run neighborhood, the timing of last week's announcement by the National Council for Home Safety and Security probably could have been better.
But the truth is, the Jan. 30 incident is the first homicide in Lake Oswego since February 2016 — so perhaps the council knows what it's talking about when it says the city is actually the safest in all of Oregon.
According to the NCHSS, the latest statistics from the FBI Uniform Crime Report show 467 total crimes in Lake Oswego in 2017. Of that total, 15 were violent crimes (murder, non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault), or 0.382 per 1,000 residents; and 452 were property crimes (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and arson), or 11.496 per 1,000.
Compare that to the rates in Coos Bay, which finished last in the rankings (3.7 violent crimes and 76.1 property crimes per 1,000 residents), or even to the rates in Portland, which was ranked the third-most-dangerous city in the state (5.2 violent crimes and 56.8 property crimes per 1,000 residents).
Overall, according to the NCHSS, Oregon is the 15th safest state for violent crime in the U.S. (with 2.50 incidents per 1,000 residents) and the 32nd safest state for property crime (with 31.41 incidents per 1,000 residents).
To identify the safest and least-safe cities in Oregon, the NCHSS used the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics, which are available online at tinyurl.com/2017CrimeStats. Cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI or had populations under 10,000 were excluded.
The NCHSS combined violent crime rates and property crime rates to calculate a total-crime-rate variable. A second variable, police adequacy, was computed by dividing the number of total crimes by the number of police employees. Combining those variables created a safety score for each city that was then used to form the rankings.
The safest cities in Oregon, according to the NCHSS: Lake Oswego (0.4/11.5), Canby (1.5/12.7), Sherwood (0.8/11.7), Monmouth (1.3/12.9), Beaverton (1.7/17.8), Milwaukie (1.5/22.6), Silverton (1.8/21.5), Hillsboro (2.5/20.0), Hermiston (2.7/ 27.7) and Dallas (2.9/ 20.7).
The most dangerous cities, according to the NCHSS: Coos Bay (3.7/76.1), Medford (4.5/59.6), Portland (5.2/56.8), Roseburg (2.4/56.8), Springfield (2.7/39.6), Gresham (3.4/33.0), Woodburn (3.3/33.2), Salem (3.8/42.4), Ashland (1.9/35.7) and Eugene (3.9/37.3).
The National Council for Home Safety and Security is a trade association comprised of home security professionals across the U.S. It advocates for safe communities and home safety with a strong focus on community involvement. Learn more at www.alarms.org/safest-cities-in-oregon.
— The Review
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