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Frankfort jumps 27 places in Safest Cities ranking

STAFF REPORT - news@ftimes.com

Focused crime fighting and prevention efforts by Frankfort police officers coupled with a positive working relationship with community members are credited in Frankfort advancing from 50th to 23rd in the National Council for Home Safety and Security’s ranking of safest cities in Indiana, according to Mayor Chris McBarnes and Police Chief Troy Bacon.

“Public safety is job #1. Being a safe community is invaluable in attracting both companies and new residents into our community. We know potential corporate citizens and homeowners evaluate the safety of cities they are interested in, so the fact that Frankfort has improved significantly from 50th to 23rd just in our second year of being included in the ranking speaks volumes,” McBarnes said in a prepared statement. “The safety of a community plays a key role in economic development, quality of life and quality of place.”

According to the Police Department’s Uniform Crime Report statistics, in 2017, there was a six percent decrease in overall reported crimes compared to the year prior. There was a 25 percent decrease in burglary and a 10 percent decrease in assaults, with no change in reported larceny-theft and a slight increase in reported rapes.

Overall adult drug violation arrests saw another huge spike last year compared to 2016. In 2017, there was a 33 percent increase in overall drug violation arrests.

According to Bacon, community policing has been invaluable in improving the safety of the city.

“Our officers continue to take a dedicated, aggressive approach to fighting and preventing crimes of all types in Frankfort,” he said, adding that residents deserve credit for providing tips to the FPD.

“We don’t operate in a vacuum and it takes real change to see the climb in ranking that Frankfort has achieved. Much credit goes to those we serve who look out for each other and help us do our jobs in the most effective way possible,” Bacon said.

Utilizing information from the FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with their own population data and internal research, the National Council for Home Safety and Security listed Frankfort as having 1.13 violent crimes per 1,000 residents and 32.59 property crimes per 1,000 people.

The organization eliminated cities that failed to submit complete crime reports to the FBI and removed cities with populations less than 5,000. The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were weighed with violent crimes accounting for 70 percent of the total and property crimes accounting for 30 percent of the rankings. Decimal points were adjusted to show rates per 1,000 people.

Based on the city’s property crime number, Bacon also released a reminder for residents to lock their homes, vehicles and any sheds or outbuildings; replace any non-working outdoor lights; remove any valuables from vehicles when they exit them; and to not show or disclose any medications they may be taking.