Snohomish wants on “safest cities” list
SNOHOMISH - The city’s Public Safety Commission may try to get Snohomish listed as one of the 50 safest cities in Washington.
The “50 Safest Cities in Washington State” are ranked by a national blog called “The SafeWise Report.”
Nearby towns including Mukilteo, Mill Creek, and Lake Stevens all ranked in the top 30. Monroe ranked No. 41 and Everett wasn’t listed. The blog’s statistics are based on a 2012 FBI database report and independent research.
Snohomish wasn’t listed, butPolice Chief John Flood said this was due to the city switching to a different crime data program.
Safewise gathered information from a 2012 report, when most cities were using a crime data program called the Uniformed Crime Report (UCR). These days, most cities have now converted to National Incident-Based Reporting system (NIBRs) for crime data. Both are through the FBI, but NIBRs is the new national standard.
“The bigger cities are going to NIBRs, everybody has to switch over to NIBRs,” Flood said. “NIBRs is much more detailed. It’s a better way to track crime and crime trends within a community. Everybody will eventually get over to NIBRs, so if ‘50 Safest Cities’ is utilizing the statistic from the FBI and they’re only looking at UCR data, that would be why Snohomish was not on that list.”
Commission secretary Jan Lengenfelder attempted to contact the blog operators, but received no reply.
Lengenfelder also researched the ranked cities’ websites to investigate what programs and events the cities host that may correlate with crime and safety. Items such as walks, runs, watches and other events were common. Neighborhood watches were the most common denominator.
“This is interesting because we do offer some of the same things they do,” commission member Ty Hammond said. “I wonder what they’re doing. How they’re spotlighting this.”
Other commission members questioned why this particular blog mattered. The answer was made apparent – it’s the first hit on Google when the entry “safest cities in Washington” is keyed in.
“I don’t know if we’ll ever be on this list,” Flood said. “But if the mayor is asking what can we do to make it to the list, we could certainly say that we are doing the things that are recognized by this blog. If we’re looking to improve our community, maybe we could look at some of the things that we aren’t doing.”
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