Residents of Georgia’s newest cities are among its safest, according to a new study.
Security analysts SafeWise looked at FBI crime data from Georgia towns with more than 5,000 residents to create a list of “Georgia’s 50 Safest Cities.”
Two of the top three cities didn’t exist a few years go, and overall the list seems to be biased towards north Atlanta suburbs.
SafeWise said it favored cities with “unique safety initiatives and security programs implemented within the past few years,” and maybe only wealthier communities can afford such things.
Let’s give the list a gander:
1) Auburn: No, this isn’t an SEC season preview. The tiny town of Auburn is located in Barrow and Gwinnett counties and didn’t report “a single murder, arson, rape, or robbery” in 2012. Less than 80 total crimes were committed and one of them was probably an “out of control quilting bee.” My theory is that Barney Fife is asleep at the county jail and not bothering to write up anything. That would just create more work.
2) Johns Creek, which seems to have had its apostrophe stolen, wasn’t a city 10 years ago. Now the north Fulton city of 80,000 is among the richest in the U.S. I suspect some of the folks up thataways are buying burglar alarms, and that may have helped in the rankings. The city did not report a murder or arson in 2012 and if one happened it was probably Atlanta’s fault, they likely said.
3) Milton, like Johns Creek, incorporated in 2006 and a lot of criminals haven’t had time to fill out change of address forms. Milton, as most of you know by reading this fine newspaper, used to be the name of a Georgia county that was Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V’d atop Fulton County in 1932. Residents up there have been buying guns and locks ever since and it has really paid off in this list.
5) Peachtree City: Have you ever tried to rob a liquor store in a golf cart? No? Well, it seems a lot of career criminals don’t want to either.
10) Kennesaw residents have lots of guns. There used to be a law there that said every homeowner had to own one, but now no one can afford ammunition and everyone blames the president.
11) Canton, up in Cherokee County, is quite the commute during rush hour. There are easier cities to get to and rob.
13) Roswell, which used to be in Cobb County but seceded when Milton County was added to Fulton County, has regretted that decision for a very long time.
14) Acworth, which is like Kennesaw’s country cousin, probably has plenty of guns too.
15) Alpharetta, another city north of Atlanta, benefits from a lot of “citizen involvement,” says SafeWise. I’m assuming that means they couldn’t think of anything else to write.
17) Duluth, home of former Braves catcher Brian McCann, doesn’t like stealing. I am running out of jokes.
27) Cops are keeping things cooler in Pooler, so is it now better than Metter? Residents of the small towns near Savannah are probably arguing over whether the FBI should track death by carbon dioxide poisoning in fast food restaurant bathrooms.
33) Sandy Springs, the north Fulton city that kicked off the new city craze, didn’t fare as well as Milton and Johns Creek. Why? Probably because it has more strip clubs.
36) McDonough: Finally, a south metro town makes an appearance on the list. The Henry County city “encourages economic development while preserving both the marketplace status quo and historical traditions and landmarks” wrote someone in marketing.
38) Decatur: I live near here and I hear police sirens and the famed black helicopter all the time.
39) Doraville: I think my office is near there. I may have to Google it.
49) Blakely: You are forgiven if you have never heard of this small west Georgia town known for its fried chicken. I had never heard of it either until my college girlfriend asked me to drive her to Climax and we ended up there. This was before GPS, clearly.
I have been to almost every city on the list, and I find it strange (the list and the state).
Some cities that seem as safe as Norman Rockwell paintings (Tifton, for example) are nowhere to be seen.
Smaller cities tucked far away from Interstates (Bainbridge?) would seemingly have less inflow of a criminal element but seem to fare worse than cities alongside busy roadways, which we know are used to ship drugs to bigger cities.
You can read the complete “Safest Cities in Georgia” list here. Tell me what you think.