11/26/2014

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Do you feel safe in the Tri-Cities?

Do you feel safe in the Tri-Cities?
TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- Local law enforcement has used the word insane to describe the summer of crime we've seen so far. So now, KEPR wants to know, how does our crime compare on a state and national level? KEPR found out how our numbers stack up on a larger scale.

Abbas Bigloo gave himself plenty of time to try out urban living. He moved to Seattle from Iran, eventually landing in the Tri-Cities over a decade ago. Abbas hasn't looked back.

"I feel it's very safe. I moved here from Seattle 14 years ago and I was used to the big-city life. Lots of things to do. It's a great place to raise kids and have a family," said Bigloo.

Abbas acknowledges this summer has been a little out of the ordinary crime-wise. But it's nothing he hasn't seen before. And nothing that would prompt him to leave.

"If I had friends that wanted to move here, I would say absolutely, come on down," said Bigloo.

But a popular site called Neighborhood Scout may be suggesting the opposite. It's commonly used by people looking to move somewhere new. On a crime index scale with 1 being the least safe and 100 being the safest, our cities didn't do so well. Kennewick received a 20. Pasco a 26. And Richland a 30.

You may remember Pasco had the lowest crime rate last year for the Tri-Cities. All of these numbers suggest to interested movers, there are 70% more cities safer than us.

Richland Police Captain Mike Cobb says this data is misleading. And it doesn't offer an apples to apples comparison. Cities listed as the safest are often sparsely populated.

Captain Cobb says on a per capita basis, the Tri-Cities is one of the safest places around.

"The Tri-Cities is one of the safest places in Washington State and the Tri-Cities is also one of the safest places in the United States."

The site breaks down property crime and violent crime per 1,000 residents. All three cities have fewer property crimes than the state and national average. For violent crime, all three cities were better than the national average, varied for the state. And police say that's a more accurate picture of our safety, despite a wild summer.

Local law enforcement calls this summer of crime an aberration. We've had a number of standoffs, officer-involved shootings and the recent triple murder. Officers say we haven't had crime like this since the summer of '03. They don't think it's a trend.
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