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Safe and secure

Study calls Newark second safest city in state

A recent study by the National Council for Home Safety and Security (NCHSS) has ranked Newark, Delaware, as the second safest city in the state, noting “there’s plenty to do and worrying about safety isn’t necessarily one of them.”

This announcement comes a month after University of Delaware Police released statistics showing a significant reduction in crime on the UD campus.

Speaking about the NCHSS study, Newark City Manager Carol Houck said, “Providing countless opportunities to enjoy all that Newark has to offer is important to the overall quality of life for our residents and visitors. But none of it matters if people don't feel safe. We are proud of the engaged officers in our police department as well as a strong network of concerned citizens and the support of the University of Delaware Police Department and are grateful their combined efforts are recognized through this distinction."

Skip Homiak, executive director of campus safety at the University, said, “University of Delaware Police and Newark Police share a common goal to ensure that this is a safe community for everyone – students, faculty, staff, residents and visitors alike. We have developed a productive and responsive relationship between the two agencies, and this allows us to work in a coordinated way to maximize our resources for the benefit of everyone. This is accomplished through a great professional relationship, ongoing communications and information sharing, engaged police officers and leadership from both agencies.”

Safety study

According to the NCHSS report, Newark ranks below the national average in violent crime (2.63 for every 1,000 residents versus the national average of 3 per 1,000) and property crimes (18.81 for every 1,000 residents versus the national average of 39 per 1,000).

The numbers reflect increased efforts by the Newark Police Department to adopt dynamic patrolling techniques paired with the latest technology.

Newark Police Chief Paul Tiernan said, “The men and women of our department are dedicated to serving and protecting our community and this recognition underscores that commitment to the citizens of Newark."

To identify the safest cities in Delaware, NCHSS reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with its own population data and internal research. Any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI were eliminated and cities with populations under 5,000 were removed. 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 then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70 percent of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 30 percent. Finally, the decimal point was moved over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.

Crime decrease on campus

In January, UD Police Chief Patrick Ogden reported that serious crimes on campus have been reduced by 52 percent since 2010, and crimes such as trespassing, disorderly conduct and drug and alcohol violations are down by 33 percent for the same period.

Ogden said the reductions are the direct result not only of the University’s pledge to safety but also to its dedicated personnel who have used innovative crime reduction strategies and community policing initiatives.

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