State College is ranked the No. 1 safest metropolitan area in the country for 2009.
The Congressional Quarterly, or CQ Press has recently released its annual Metropolitan Crime Rate Rankings for 2009. State College ranked No.2 last year and No.3 the year before that.
Ben Krasney of CQ Press said the agency combines six crime categories -- murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and motor vehicle theft -- to compile a list of the safest cities.
“Of all the metro areas considered, there were 332 areas in our list this year, State College ranked very favorably in all six categories. There were no reported murders. State College was the 4th lowest for motor vehicle theft, 6th lowest for aggravated assault, 12th lowest in robbery, and ranked favorably in the other categories as well,” Krasney said.
The ranking was not a surprise to the State College Police Department.
Lieutenant Keith Robb said State College generally has a lower crime rate than most areas with similar populations. Robb thinks college towns contribute to safer communities. There is often a higher socio economical class in college towns with more educated residents, which contributes to lower crime rates.
“Statistics are funny. I don’t think we’ve done anything differently from years passed. We have a real good population of people who care about their community and cooperate with the police. When we do have issues, we try to deal with the root problem and move on from there,” Robb said.
State College Borough Council President and Mayor-elect Elizabeth Goreham attributed the championship to the State College Police Department and local residents, but also to the Penn State students.
“State College was selected because we are all on the same page. We all want to keep State College a safe place. Though some students have nuisance problems, the majority is here to learn and enjoy themselves. They are learning a lifestyle change. The students getting an education here are generally very smart people.”
Goreham was both proud and delighted with the ranking, and wants to keep State College the safest city for years to come.
“It was a pleasant surprise. We work very hard to make State College a nice place to live and a safe place to live. Now, we have to make sure we don’t lose this honor. We want to earn it again next year,” Goreham said.