|Richmond Cedes "Most Dangerous City in
October 30, 2006
In the Superbowl of City safety, the
latest Morgan Quitno Press ratings shows that Richmond, California, has
dropped slightly from No. 11 to No. 12 in a year (See
Richmond Retains Title
November 22, 2005). Neither did our city retain the “most dangerous city in California” label, with Compton (No. 4) and Oakland (No. 9) edging us out. The original data can be found at
In the E-FORUM hyperlinked above from the same time last year, I called for a “ crime prevention “czar,” a violence prevention coordinator who will use the blueprints we already have to build a safer city, and in a construction analogy, hold each vendor and each subcontractor responsible for his or her contribution to the completed project.”
One year later, we have no “crime czar,” but we did contract with The Mentoring Center to perform a study that would lead to a Violence Reduction Office in the City of Richmond. Call me impatient, but I am disappointed that no work product form that study has been produced.
Study names St. Louis as most
ST. LOUIS -- Just days after the St. Louis Cardinals won the top honor in Major League Baseball, their hometown jumped to first place on a list no one wants to lead: the most dangerous cities in the United States.
This Midwestern city has long been in the upper tiers of the annual ranking of the nation's safest and most dangerous cities, compiled by Morgan Quitno Press.
Violent crime surged nearly 20 percent there from 2004 to last year, when the rate of such crimes rose much faster in the Midwest than in the rest of nation, according to FBI figures released in June.
"It's just sad the way this city is," resident Sam Dawson said. "On the news you hear killings, someone's been shot."
The ranking, being released today, came as the city was still celebrating Friday's World Series victory at the new Busch Stadium. St. Louis has been spending millions of dollars on urban renewal even as the crime rate climbs.
Mayor Francis Slay did not return calls to his office seeking comment Sunday.
Scott Morgan, president of Morgan Quitno Press, a private research and publishing company specializing in state and city reference books, said he was not surprised to see St. Louis top the list, since it has been among the 10 most dangerous cities for years.
Morgan said the study looks at crime only within St. Louis' city limits, with a population of about 330,000. It does not take into account the suburbs in St. Louis County, which have roughly 980,000 residents.
The safest city in 2005 was Brick, N.J., population about 78,000, followed by Amherst, N.Y., and Mission Viejo. The second most dangerous city was Detroit, followed by Flint, Mich., and Compton.
Cities are ranked based on more than just their crime rate, Morgan said. Individual crimes such as rape or burglary are measured separately, compared to national averages and then compiled to give a city its ranking. Crimes are weighted based on their danger to people.
The national FBI figures released in June showed the murder rate in St. Louis jumped 16 percent from 2004 to 2005, compared with 4.8 percent nationally. The overall violent crime rate increased nearly 20 percent, compared with 2.5 percent nationally.
While crime increased in all regions last year, the 5.7 percent rise in the 12 Midwestern states was at least three times higher than any other region, according to the FBI.
Visiting St. Louis on Thursday, FBI director Robert Mueller said it was too early to tell why some types of crime were rising faster in the Midwest.
He said the FBI is working harder to form partnerships with police departments to launch programs like St. Louis' Safe Streets task force, which focuses police efforts on problematic neighborhoods.
This year's ranking was good news for Camden, N.J., which in 2005 was named the most dangerous city for the second year in a row. The city dropped to fifth in the newest rankings.
THE BEST AND WORST
MOST DANGEROUS 25:
1. St. Louis 2. Detroit 3. Flint, Mich. 4. Compton 5. Camden, N.J. 6. Birmingham, Ala. 7. Cleveland 8. Oakland 9. Youngstown, Ohio 10. Gary, Ind. 11. Richmond, Calif. 12. Baltimore 13. Memphis, Tenn. 14. Trenton, N.J. 15. Richmond, Va. 16. Kansas City, Mo. 17. Atlanta 18. Cincinnati 19. Washington 20. North Charleston, S.C. 21. Reading, Pa. 22. Newark, N.J. 23. Little Rock, Ark. 24. San Bernardino 25. Orlando, Fla.
Brick, N.J. 2. Amherst, N.Y. 3. Mission Viejo 4. Newton, Mass. 5. Troy, Mich. 6. Colonie, N.Y. 7. Irvine 8. Cary, N.C. 9. Greece, N.Y. 10. Coral Springs, Fla. 11. Thousand Oaks 12. Orem, Utah 13. Round Rock, Texas 14. Dover, N.J. 15. Lake Forest 16. Sterling Heights, Mich. 17. Simi Valley 18. Roswell, Ga. 19. Lee's Summit, Mo. 20. Broken Arrow, Okla. 21. Chino Hills 22. Gilbert, Ariz. 23. Edison, N.J. 24. Cranston, R.I. 25. Port St. Lucie, Fla.