On Wednesday, the National Council for Home Safety and Security released its annual report on Washington State’s Safest Cities on Alarms.org.
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The study ranked 73 cities in Washington state. Local cities on the list included Moses Lake, Wenatchee and East Wenatchee.
To identify the safest cities, NCHSS reviewed the most recent FBI uniform Crime Report statistics. NCHSS eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBA and cities with populations under 10,000. Researchers computed the total number of crimes reported by each city by adding violent crimes and property crimes and created a crime rate as the number of crimes per 1,000 population. Then, NCHSS transformed the total crime rate variable so that the skewness was reduced and normalized. In conclusion, the smaller the police adequacy statistic is, the safer the city is, according to NCHSS. This variable was also transformed and normalized. Finally, the two variables were combined to create a safety score for each city.
Out of the 73 cities, East Wenatchee was ranked #34. In 2018, East Wenatchee reportedly had 14 reported violent crimes occur in 2018 and 377 property crimes during that same time frame. East Wenatchee’s 24 commissioned police officers played a factor in the ranking as well. East Wenatchee’s crime rate per 1,000 was 27.74.
Wenatchee was ranked #36 on the list. With a population of 34,169, Wenatchee had 100 reported violent crimes and 851 property crimes in 2018. In comparison, Wenatchee’s police force employed 50 officers that year. Wenatchee’s total crime rate was 27.83 per 1,000.
Moses Lake was situated a bit lower on the list at 58. About two years ago, the lake city tallied 23,763 people within its borders. Eighty violent crimes and 1,049 property crimes were documented in 2018. Moses Lake has one of the larger police departments for a town of its size with 44 officers on the force. Researchers show that Moses Lake’s criminal happenings was a bit higher than the aforementioned cities with a crime rate per 1,000 of 47.51.
In contrast, a report published by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) tallied the total number of all crimes in 2018. Moses Lake’s overall crime number saw a reduction in offenses between 2017 and 2018. Two years ago, Moses Lake recorded 1,993 crimes, a significant downtick from 2017’s total of 2,340.
Wenatchee’s comprehensive crime stats appear to show an increase in local crime with 2,048 crimes in 2017 and 2,179 crimes in 2018 according to WASPC.
Looking back at the NCHSS study, Oak Harbor is ranked as the state's safest city and Tukwila is ranked last.