Two Oklahoma cities rate among the 35 safest in the nation, according rankings based on the FBI’s uniform crime report.
Broken Arrow was listed as the 22nd-safest city in the country and Edmond ranked as 35th safest out of 378 cities with a population of 75,000 or more, according to the 14th annual “City Crime Rankings: Crime in Metropolitan America,” released by CQ Press.
Six areas of crime are used from the uniform crime report, including murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and car theft, when compiling the rankings, according to CQ Press spokesman Doug Goldenberg-Hart.
Other Oklahoma cities on the list were Norman at 103rd and Lawton at 298th while Oklahoma City ranked 304th and Tulsa 330th.
In Broken Arrow, crime decreased about 9 percent in 2007 with 7.374 crimes reported, compared to 8,104 in 2006, according to statistics provided by the city Police Department.
In 2006, Broken Arrow was rated the 20th safest city; in 2005, it was ranked 47th.
Police Chief Todd Wuestewald said he believes one reason overall crime decreased is because the department has taken a proactive approach by helping educate young people in Broken Arrow.
“Our target group are the ages from 16 to 21, because these are the age ranges where juveniles are starting to get into trouble,” he said. “If they’re going to get into a gang, then that’s the age that it’s going to happen.”
The department employs four school resource officers who maintain a presence at the school district and work to educate students through programs such as anti-drinking, anti-gang, drug education awareness, bullying and date rape, Wuestewald said.
Wuestewald also praised the Alert Neighbor program in the city, where more than 25 neighborhoods are taking part in the anti-crime initiative.
Information from: Tulsa World, www.tulsaworld.com
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