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The original item was published from 5/8/2015 2:16:05 PM to 5/30/2015 12:15:00 AM.

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Posted on: May 8, 2015

[ARCHIVED] Brookings: Safest City in Oregon!

Brookings has been named the “Safest Place in Oregon” in a study released by Value Penguin, a nationally recognized consumer products evaluation company based in New York.

The study analyzed the most recent FBI Crime Report to determine the safety score of 77 cities in Oregon. Scores ranged from 380 to 4,284, with an average score of 1,423.

The Brookings score of 380…described by Value Penguin as “unparalleled in the state” was 75 per cent lower than a typical peer in Oregon. Next in line was Hubbard, Oregon, with a score of 482.
“This is another reason to be proud of our City,” said Mayor Ron Hedenskog. “Here is a report by a national evaluation firm…not hired by the City…that has independently looked at the crime statistics and other characteristics of our community and has given us exceptionally high marks.”

“We have an outstanding and proactive police department, which serves as a deterrent to criminal activity,” said City Manager Gary Milliman. “I am fortunate to have an office a few feet away from the Police Station and interact with our officers every day. I can attest to the fine job they are doing.”
“From the outstanding professional leadership demonstrated by Public Safety Director Chris Wallace to police officers and communications operators handling the calls and solving the crimes, we have a very dedicated and effective group of law enforcement employees,” Milliman said.

“Community safety is really a partnership between the residents and those working in public service,” said Wallace, who recently celebrated his 20th anniversary with the Brookings Police Department, including 14 years as Chief.

The Brookings Police Department is the only agency providing 24-hour-per-day, seven-day-per week law enforcement service in Curry County. Several years ago, the City Council made it a budget priority to maintain a high level of staffing with at least two officers on duty around-the-clock.
“This report is certainly a tool we can use to market our community to new business and residents,” Milliman noted.

“Crime rates are so amazingly low in Brookings…and clearly folk seem so friendly…even I'm tempted to move to your town to raise my family,” said Value Penguin analyst Madison Reed.
According to the report, “To rank these places, we collected data from the 2013 FBI crime statistics by city, which provides the most recent crime data available. Not every town participates in the FBI reporting system and we also excluded towns with fewer than 3,000 residents because towns with small populations are more sensitive to crime score fluctuations.” For these reasons Gold Beach and Port Orford were not included in the report.

The raw data used for the report included property crimes (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and arson) and violent crimes (murder/manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault) from all law enforcement agencies that chose to participate in the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting program.

The data was standardized to reflect violent and property crimes per 100,000 population. Value Penguin then aggregated a “crime score” by weighting violent crime at 80 per cent and property crime at 20 per cent.

“Though property crime is more prevalent, we figured that violent crime is more concerning to town residents,” the report noted. “Then we adjusted the crime score for population, giving more slack to larger cities.”

Even with “more slack,” most of the larger, urban cities were ranked toward the bottom of the list, with Medford ranking last at 77th, Portland at 75th and Grants Pass at 74th.

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