AP NEWS

New Haven, Fort Wayne among safest

March 13, 2019

New Haven and Fort Wayne are among Indiana’s safest cities, according to a report released Tuesday.

SafeWise, a security research website, ranked 39 cities as the safest in the state based on government crime statistics and population data.

New Haven ranks 18th and Fort Wayne 24th.

“It makes me proud of the guys and gals working in law enforcement,” New Haven Police Chief Henry McKinnon said.

St. John in Lake County tops the list as the state’s safest, and Indianapolis is last, according to the report. City populations range from about 13,500 (Chesterton) to nearly 900,000 (Indianapolis).

The FBI, which provides data that were used in the report, cautions against ranking cities based on crime statistics because factors including population and population density can “cause the nature and type of crime to vary from place to place,” a statement on the agency’s website reads.

SafeWise researchers said in a news release they worked to compare the likelihood of crimes occurring in cities with different populations by calculating the rate of crimes per 1,000 people in each area.

The violent crime rate in New Haven was 2.45 per 1,000 people, researchers found, and it was 3.58 per 1,000 in Fort Wayne.

Still, Fort Wayne Police Department spokesman Michael Joyner said he was reluctant to compare cities with wide ranges of populations.

He said the report shows Fort Wayne and Indiana are safe places to live.

Violent crime rose 8 percent in Fort Wayne last year, according to statistics released by the city in January, while overall crime fell 15 percent. Police said drug and gang activity fueled the uptick in violent crimes such as homicide, robbery and assault.

SafeWise also ranked the 100 safest cities in the U.S., and Hopkinton, Massachusetts, is No. 1. Two Indiana cities : St. John at No. 19 and Carmel at No. 39 : are listed.

mleblanc@jg.net