Boone named one of NC’s safest cities
Boone is a melting pot of tourists, college students and locals
living and working together side by side.
When you have such a diverse demographic residing in a college town, which brings with it its own unique set of challenges, a question of crime and safety can arise.
Fortunately for the town of Boone, a high crime rate isn’t at the top of its concerns, as new rankings from SafeWise, a national community-focused security organization, reveal the town is ranked 19th out of 50 cities for safety statewide.
“It’s easy to see why families and businesses are flocking to North Carolina,” SafeWise security analyst Alexia Chianis said. “A pleasant year-round climate, an abundance of recreational opportunities and especially safe streets are a few of the Tar Heel State’s many assets.”
According to a new release, SafeWise uses crime data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Unified Crime Report, which focuses on violent crimes, including arson, burglary, larceny, theft and motor vehicle theft.
From there, all the cities in North Carolina were narrowed down to a list of 50 and assigned a ranking based on that FBI data.
“I think first of all, it’s as much as a reflection on the community we live in and the citizens’ ability to take charge of the area … and decide the things we will tolerate and the things we won’t, as far as safety in our community,” Boone Police Chief Danna Crawford said. “Secondly, I think it does speak well of the officers we have, and we have a great buy-in from the officers who invest themselves in the community. They want to do a good job, work hard, and they have great character and ethics.”
Being a university town, which practically doubles Boone’s population, Crawford said, presents a set of problems that many other cities on the Top 50 list do not have to contend with on a daily basis.
“Being a college town means you are bringing students from towns not just from across the state, but all over the country,” he said. “You don’t know what their value sets are. Things might have not been as good here as where they came from.”
When these young students are out on their own for the first time, they are presented with the opportunity and pressures to consume alcohol.
“I’m not saying that all of our crime comes from that (alcohol consumption), but it does come up,” Crawford said.
Being a cultural and outdoors center also brings with it the possibility for more problems.
“We also have a lot of tourism, and you can look at that and say, ‘Does that contribute to crime?’ Possibly, but I’m saying it does, because we have our local issues, too, and dealing with the same people on a daily basis,” Crawford said.
While a Top 50 ranking speaks volumes for the town and its police department, Crawford said he isn’t satisfied.
“Although we did really well, we have a lot of room for improvement,” he said. “We are going to work hard and make sure we are No. 1.”
To see how the rest of the state fared, visit http://www.safewise.com/blog/50-safest-cities-North-Carolina/.