For the second straight year, Scottsdale is listed among the 100 safest places to live in the nation.
The city ranked 82nd among 371 cities that reported crime rates, making it the second safest city in Arizona, according to a list compiled by Kansas-based Morgan Quitno Press, a private research and publishing company specializing in state and city reference books.
The company’s 2005 study, which was released Monday, marked the third straight year Scottsdale climbed in the rankings. In 2004, Scottsdale came in at 99th of 369 cities, and in 2003 it was ranked 118th of 350 cities, according to Morgan Quitno.
Cities are ranked based on more than just their crime rate, said Scott Morgan, president of Morgan Quitno Press. Individual crimes such as rape or burglary are measured separately, compared with national averages and then compiled to give a city its ranking. Crimes are weighted based on their danger to people.
The study also bases its rankings on FBI crime statistics.
Scottsdale City Manager Jan Dolan said Monday she was excited about the city’s place on the list, but admitted she was surprised it wasn’t ranked higher.
“The better your reporting system is, the higher your crime looks,” Dolan said. “I suspect we might even be safer than we look. We have a good police department and people here feel pretty good about calling the police, feeling that the police will respond to their call.”
Dolan also said that the city is conscious about land-use patterns, focusing on law and code enforcements in south Scottsdale to cut down on crime.
Scottsdale Police Chief Alan Rodbell couldn’t be reached for comment, but the police department took the ranking as good news, according to city spokesman Mike Phillips.
The company based the rankings on FBI statistics released in June and other factors.
Phoenix placed 313th, while Tucson came in at 308, according to the study.
Scottsdale police statistics submitted to the FBI in 2005 show the city has slightly more than 227,000 residents. Robbery, rapes, burglaries, theft and vehicle thefts were lower in 2005 in Scottsdale than in 2004, according to the statistics.
Of the crimes reported in Scottsdale in 2005, there were five homicides, 51 rapes, 125 robberies, 285 aggravated assaults, 1,869 burglaries, 4,703 thefts, 1,161 vehicle thefts and 30 arsons, according to FBI statistics.
Comparably in 2004, Scottsdale had four homicides, 63 rapes, 132 robberies, 269 aggravated assaults, 2,087 burglaries, 5,593 thefts, 1,318 vehicle thefts and 32 arsons.
Other Arizona cities that ranked high on the list of safest cities included Gilbert at 22, Chandler at 105 and Peoria at 108. Mesa was ranked 191, Yuma 215, Tempe 241 and Glendale ranked 253.
With a population of about 78,000, the safest city in 2005 was Brick, N.J., according to the report. Amherst, N.Y. The most dangerous city was St. Louis followed by Detroit.
Police statistics show Phoenix, which has about 1.5 million residents, is one of the nation’s most violent cities for its size. At 244 murders, one murder occurred in Phoenix every 38 hours on average in 2005. The same year, there were 533 rapes, 4,237 robberies, and 5,701 aggravated assaults.
Last year in Tucson, which has more than 536,000 residents, police statistics show there were 56 homicides, 378 sexual assaults, 1,685 robberies and 2,930 aggravated assaults.
Statistics from both cities contrast with Gilbert’s numbers.
In that city, which has a population of about 178,000 residents, there was one homicide, 27 rapes, 35 robberies and 153 aggravated assaults in 2005.
- The Associated Press contributed to this story