There’s nothing more important than the safety and security of your home and loved ones. In addition to being smart about home security, it’s just as vital to understand your community’s record for keeping residents safe and sound. SafeWise understands how crucial living in a safe city is, whether you’re happily settled or looking to make a change. That’s why we’ve compiled the most recent FBI Crime
Report along with our own independent research to bring you the top 50 safest places to call home in Illinois.
To make our list, a city had to have a population of over 5,000 as of 2012 and needed to meet criteria regarding both violent and property crimes, according to FBI statistics from 2012. We analyze the number of violent crimes (aggravated assault, forcible rape, murder, robbery) and property crimes (arson, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft) and then calculate the chance of these crimes happening out of 1,000 in order to level the playing field for the different populations of each city.
Look no further than SafeWise to find the perfect Illinois town to hang your hat. And we don’t stop at city information; we’ve also got everything you need to know about personal home security and crime prevention in our Illinois Safety Directory.
1. Round Lake Park
With just over 7,000 residents, Round Lake Park tops our list of safe cities in the great state of Illinois. From a charming town with a drug store with a real soda fountain, Round Lake Park has grown into a bustling community that has traded corn fields for business offices but has done so without sacrificing the comforts and security of an old-fashioned small town. In fact, this community of neighbors reported absolutely no violent crimes in 2012, and only eight incidents of property crime.
No doubt Round Lake Park’s stellar safety record is thanks to its dedicated police force, several members of which recently received honors for service and going above and beyond the call of duty. Officers were recognized for saving the lives of citizens, coming to the aid of a neighboring police agency, community outreach and operations resulting in over 200 narcotic arrests over three years. With such outstanding commitments to protect and serve, it’s easy to see why Round Lake Park is our safest Illinois city.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 1.06
2. Lake Forest
Besides snagging the number two spot on our safest cities in Illinois list, Lake Forest also sits at number three on CNN Money’s 25 top-earning towns. As a North Shore suburb, Lake Forest has become known for housing Chicago’s elite. This beautifully groomed city lends itself well to the lifestyle of the rich and famous. It sports Lake Forest Academy, one of the most prestigious prep schools in the country, along with Lake Forest College, which acts as the town’s center. With zero accounts of murder, rape, robbery or arson, everyone can feel safe in Lake Forest.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.72
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 2.11
3. Western Springs
Snagging the number three spot on our list is the affluent Chicago suburb of Western Springs. Once named one of the top 50 places to raise children by BusinessWeek.com, it’s easy to see why this tree-lined, historic town is attractive to families and professionals alike. Not only are the residents watched over by an impressive brick and limestone water tower, but the local men and women in blue do a fine job protecting Western Springs’ citizens.
According to the most recent FBI crime report, this city was free of robberies, rapes and murders in 2012. Western Springs’ crime prevention success may be due in part to a belief that safety starts with the children. Since 2010, the Western Springs Recreation Department has sponsored Safety Village, a two-week safety education program for children entering kindergarten and first grade. The camp is a mini-replica of Western Springs and uses a variety of methods to teach children life-saving information and make safety concerns a household topic for families who participate.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.07
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 3.76
4. Campton Hills
The village of Campton Hills is dedicated to keeping its residents safe and sound, which is why it sits at number four on our list. Campton Hills’ police department clearly takes security seriously. You can see this with their great safety programs like Vacation Check to watch homes while families are away, Premise Alert designed to help disabled residents in case of an emergency, and Lock It or Risk Losing It, which encourages residents to always lock their cars and homes to prevent theft. The PD’s hard work helps Campton Hills keep most violent and property crimes at bay; the town was free of murder, robbery and arson in 2012.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.53
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 3.91
With a village town hall that looks like something from a fairy tale, our fifth-safest Illinois city is known for its wide open spaces and friendly townsfolk. Inverness is a residential village centered on family life, as evidenced by its well-attended Garden, Book and Women’s Clubs – the oldest of which has been in existence since 1940. Strong community bonds help Inverness remain a safe place to live as evidenced by the absence of violent crimes, motor vehicle thefts and arsons during the whole of 2012.
Proactive community programs are a key to helping Inverness maintain its impressive crime-free record. The Village of Inverness Citizen Core Council is a volunteer organization “committed to aiding residents and businesses in preparing to respond and recover from emergencies and disasters.” The council works with the Palatine Rural Fire Protection District to education citizens about fire safety, power outages and preparation for natural disasters.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 4.57
The rapidly growing community in the village of Gilberts works hard to make their city a picturesque and safe place. With construction underway for a new, large park in the town center, the city’s pristine location on Lake Gilberts and only three violent crimes in 2012, it’s no wonder that people are flocking to Gilberts and making this village their home. Children take precedence in Gilberts, with many community activities dedicated to getting kids involved in the town and a new skate park to keep kids health and active.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.43
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 4.32
Ranking seven on our list is a town that’s not only safe, but the home of Popeye the Sailor Man, as commemorated by a six-foot, 900-pound bronze statue of the spinach-loving sailor standing guard in a park named for the creator of the cartoon, Elzie Segar.
Chester may be crazy about its most popular “resident” but that hasn’t kept this town from achieving a safety record that makes the odds of becoming a victim of violent crime only one in 1,000. And it’s a good thing that Chester makes security a top priority, because hundreds of visitors descend on the town each year for the Popeye Picnic and Parade, a three-day celebration of Popeye and his pals. Thanks to the efforts of the Chester Police Department, revelers can partake in rides, music and all the local food they can eat without worrying for their personal safety.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 1.05
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 4.08
Pickneyville is “the Friendly Little City” that sits in Perry County, Illinois and there isn’t a more wholesome place to live. Named after early American diplomat Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, this city has a strong athletic reputation in high school sports, with the Pinckneyville Community High School basketball team winning over 1,500 games and appearing in the State Finals Tournament 11 times, winning three times.
Besides basketball, Pinckneyville also has community and school softball, baseball and football teams that residents are encouraged to join. Even Hubert Shurtz, who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, has found a home in Pinckneyville. With so much valuable athletic talent, it’s no wonder Pinckneyville is committed to keeping all of its assets safe and sound.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 1.77
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 4.08
Rich in history, the picturesque village of Winfield is also flush with safety and security. The town snagging our number nine spot had a perfect record with zero violent crimes reported in 2012. Winfield is also home to one of the oldest taverns in the Chicago suburbs, which has been in constant operation by the same family since 1921.
It’s the legacy of family and hard work that helps keep Winfield a place where families go to bed each night feeling safe and sound. But this village doesn’t rest on its laurels, the Winfield Police Department has a variety of safety programs in place to constantly improve the protective and preventative services offered to its residents.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 5.90
Waterloo has become very involved with the German community. Starting in 1830, an influx of German immigrants found their homes in Waterloo, which, in 1980, led resident Vera Kohlmeier to find out that nearly two-thirds of Monroe County residents could trace their ancestry to northern Germany. This led Kohlmeier to connect with the German city of Porta Westfalica’s resident Helmut Macke and create a Sister Cities Program.
Now, Waterloo stands as an example for international sister cities and even helps other towns create a sister city relationship. Today, the two cities do annual visits to one another; hold annual parades in honor of one another, and organize charity events to fundraise in times of crisis. With all of that international diplomacy going on, Waterloo still has time to fight crime like a super hero, with no reported violent crimes of any kind tainting their record in 2012.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 5.95
Image: City of Waterloo
11. Sugar Grove
Sugar Grove was settled by six adventurers who found an abandoned Native American sugar camp and decided to put down roots. These first settlers lived in a brush wigwam while they built the area’s first log cabin. Surrounded by rich farm land, Sugar Grove has remained a quiet, agricultural community; however, that doesn’t mean this town isn’t progressive. In August 1972, this quiet town became the first in the Midwest to accept women into its fire department. Those initial 13 firewomen were pioneers for fire departments across the country and may have been inspiration for the townsfolk to work together to keep their community secure.
The residents of Sugar Grove can be proud of the most recent FBI crime report, which shows no arsons, robberies or murders – in fact, there were only three violent crimes reported in 2012. A proud community spirit is also evident at the annual Sugar Grove Corn Boil, where good times go hand-in-hand with good works. The event celebrates the local agriculture along with raising funds for a number of non-profit organizations including Between Friends Food Pantry, West Town Human Services Network and the Township Senior Center.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.33
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 5.72
12. Glen Carbon
Voted one of the top 100 best places to live by Money Magazine in 2009, Glen Carbon still upholds their reputation for affordable housing and strong community spirit. Besides landing a spot on our safest cities list, Glen Carbon offers residents multiple luscious city parks. Citizen Park, Miner Park and Village Hall Park host numerous sports fields, running tracks, playgrounds and pavilions. These green escapes make for a happy and healthy community in Glen Carbon.
And making sure that locals and visitors can enjoy the outdoor bounty without worrying about crime, the Glen Carbon Police Department is on the job 24/7 patrolling, educating, investigating and participating as crucial members of this vibrant community.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.62
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 5.66
This pretty farming community has grown from a one post office town to a city of nearly 15,000 residents. While growth has been beneficial, Lindenhurst town boards and commissions have worked hard to preserve the old-fashioned, small-town feel of the city. The town motto is “Developing Today for Tomorrow” and is used as a guide for all major city decisions including building and expansion. All residential building styles are integrated with the local landscape of marshes, lakes and forested areas.
With such attention to creating serene surroundings, it’s also important to keep those who call Lindenhurst home safe and sound. The police department is on the case 365 days per year, and utilizes a variety of programs to make sure citizens are educated about crime awareness and prevention. From bike patrols to keeping an eye on your house when you’re out of town, the Lindenhurst police have it covered.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.41
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 6.06
14. Hawthorn Woods
The cozy village of Hawthorn Woods has four core values that govern their tight-knit police department: honesty, readiness, professionalism and dedication. These four values helped Hawthorn Woods achieve zero violent crimes in 2012, making them our 14th safest city in Illinois. But, all that safety doesn’t mean Hawthorn Woods doesn’t have fun and relax. In fact, located within the village’s perimeter is the Hawthorn Woods Country Club golf course that was designed by professional golfer Arnold Palmer.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 6.49
The tranquil village of Maryville is comprised of residents who are community-minded and proud of the growth their little town has seen over the past decade. In fact, this thriving village saw growth of over 61 percent between the 2000 and 2010 censuses. Maryville is the perfect place for families looking to settle down in a wholesome community where it’s still common to know your neighbors and gather at Fireman’s Park for town celebrations, family picnics or just a quiet afternoon of fishing.
This tight-knit community takes care of its own as evidenced by an excellent safety record. The chance of being a victim of property crime in Maryville is only five in one thousand. The Maryville Police Department is diligent in its service and through programs like the annual Bike Rodeo and Halloween Party the department ensures that citizens not only stay safe but also have a positive relationship with law enforcement.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 1.61
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 5.09
Named by its original Patawatomi inhabitants, Channahon means “Meeting of the Waters.” The village’s name is derived from its location at the confluence of the Des Plaines and Kankakee rivers, where they form the Illinois River. Throughout the village runs the Illinois and Michigan Canal, making for beautiful scenery all through Channahon.
And thanks to the high safety rating of this picturesque city, residents can be seen all year round enjoying the natural beauty of Channahon State Park, whether it’s playing in the snow or holding hands under bright changing leaves. In 2012, Channahon residents were safe from murder, rape, robbery and arson according to the latest FBI crime statistics.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.16
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 6.97
Offering a perfect blend of history and modern amenities, Monticello has a little something for everyone. The charming downtown district features the Wabash Depot and Monticello Railway Museum as its centerpiece, where train aficionados and newbies alike can experience the thrill of riding the rails. Lovers of the outdoors will also find plenty to keep them occupied, from exploring local parks to geocaching nearby.
Residents and visitors alike can enjoy all Monticello has to offer with peace of mind thanks to the great efforts of the community and local law enforcement that made sure there were no murders, robberies or arsons in this quaint town in 2012. And the town’s crime rate is estimated to be almost 18 percent lower than that of the rest of Illinois.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 1.27
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 5.96
Located in Kane County due west of the Chicago Loop, Elburn sits as an innovative community that strives to maintain small town values. Starting as a small, rural train stop, Elburn has rapidly become a bountiful village, the population growing by almost 3,000 people between 2000 and 2010. This is perhaps due to Elburn’s mission to expand business by providing a space for new opportunities to grow and flourish.
While Elburn expands, they still keep their eye on the health and safety of residents and visitors. The Elburn Police Department takes care of Elburn from providing school and car seat safety to sponsoring the Great Shake Out event, focusing on earthquake preparedness and safety.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.53
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 6.71
This Illinois village is known for its smarts as well as its safety. From 1984 until 1993, the Beardstown Ladies, a group of 16 local women, took the stock market by storm. Over the course of their nine years of investing, the ladies claimed a return of 23.4 percent on their stocks, and their success caught national attention. Not only did they appear on “Good Morning America” and “The Today Show,” but these ladies, whose average age was 70, were awarded “All-Star Investment Club” status by the National Association of Investors Corps for six years running.
Bringing a national spotlight to Beardstown didn’t tarnish the downhome flavor of this community that’s also known for an array of Abraham Lincoln sites that visitors and residents enjoy tracking down. Along with history and financial savvy, Beardstown also does a great job keeping its citizens safe. Your chances of being involved in either violent or property crime is less than four in 1,000 in this community.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 3.77
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 3.61
20. Willow Springs
The homey village of Willow Springs begs visitors to don a cozy sweater and watch the city’s children play with a steaming cup of coffee at the city park. And you can do so with the peace of mind that there were only four violent crimes reported in 2012 – impressive for a town of over 5,000 people.
This tranquil, yet involved, community hosts many local events such as an annual Holiday and Remembrance concert and car shows. This rural and modest village was also used as a set location for the film “The Lake House” starring Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves. Just as Bullock and Reeves’ characters fell in love, humble Willow Springs could be the perfect place for you to find that special someone.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.72
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 6.67
21. Homer Glen
One of the youngest cities on our list, Homer Glen was just incorporated in 2001, but that hasn’t kept this township from having a lot to brag about. For stargazers, Homer Glen is one of the best places you could call home. This little burg was selected as the third International Dark Sky Community in the world. That means there is little to no light pollution and the cosmos are on display for residents and visitors every night.
Even though artificial lighting is kept to a minimum, the city streets are still safe after sundown. Homer Glen is doing a good job of minimizing crime and maximizing security with no reported rapes, murders or arsons on the most recent FBI crime report. And although this town is relatively new, they’ve already established some community traditions, including Homer Community Days, a three-day event full of food, parades, fireworks and local entertainment.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.25
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 7.63
Image: City of Homer Glen
As the home to Eastern Illinois University, there is never a shortage of culture and entertainment in Charleston. Whether you are exploring the late 19th century architecture that litters Charleston’s downtown square, spending the day at Lake Charleston or taking a drive to the winery in Greenup, this city promises to leave you feeling more fulfilled than when you came.
With your chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime lower than six in 1,000, you can enjoy all Charleston has to offer and rest easy at night. The tight-knit community of Charleston lives up to its reputation as downstate Illinois’ biggest secret.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 2.29
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 5.81
Image: City of Charleston
23. La Grange Park
Forbes recognized La Grange Park as one of America’s 20 Most Stable Housing Markets. The community has an attractive and diverse housing stock which ranges from historic single family homes to affluent senior care facilities. La Grange Park has a diverse commercial base too, with The Village Market Shopping Center being one of the first open air shopping centers in the state. Located just 16 miles west of the Chicago Loop, La Grange Park offers great amenities, including a public library, numerous parks and recreation facilities, and the Cook County Forest Preserve. Residents of La Grange Park also benefit from the community’s proximity to nearby Metra stations, providing tremendous access to the overall region.
This quaint village has a distinctive character, combining historic homes, new growth and a thriving commercial center where the long-standing hardware store still stands next to eclectic boutiques and artisan restaurants. With only four violent crimes reported in 2012, La Grange Park offers a sound quality of life and high sense of security.
It’s not unusual to see the whole town coming together to celebrate summertime at Memorial Park with live performances in a variety of musical tastes. Families on the move choose bike rides along the Salt Creek Trail which end with a day of fun at Brookfield Zoo. The Police Department provides the award winning Adopt-A-Cop crime prevention and education program in the town’s three elementary schools. A different officer is assigned to each grade in an effort to allow the students to meet local police officers and come to know them in a non-enforcement role. The program has been in place since 1999.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.29
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 7.84
Image: City of La Grange Park
24. Mount Zion
The village of Mt. Zion is a city in progress. With beautiful terraces and houses being constructed around the lake, one has only to look at Mt. Zion to envision the exciting future that is planned for this burgeoning community. In an effort to increase the health and well-being of the community, Mt. Zion holds spring-cleaning events like paper shredding and Sparkle and Shine, which are designed to help residents safely and efficiently dispose of last year’s mess.
Another way Mt. Zion shines is its education system, with the high school ranking 94th out of 650 public Illinois high schools. And this booming village ranks high in public safety as well, with fewer than 50 violent and property crime incidents throughout the entire year of 2012 – that’s outstanding for a city with almost 6,000 residents.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 1.03
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 5.81
25. Palos Hills
From its beginnings as a small farming community, Palos Hills has grown into a lively community that offers excellent schools, vast outdoor activities and the comfort of knowing your family is safe and sound. The Palos Hills Police Department sponsors a robust selection of programs and services to keep the community and its members from harm.
Officers work in local schools as part of the G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education and Training) program. The program was designed as “an immunization against delinquency, youth violence, and gang membership,” working with young children in the crucial years before gang involvement usually starts. Other programs include assistance for the elderly and free child car seat safety inspections. With a record of no rapes or murders reported in the FBI’s most recent statistics, it seems the hard-working officers of Palos Hills are doing a fine job.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.34
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 7.97
26. North Chicago
With a strong message of diversity and equality, North Chicago is a place where everyone can feel comfortable in chasing after their dreams. This outer suburb of the Chicago metropolitan area hosts the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, the United States Navy’s only boot camp. The city also houses the Chicago Medical School and a number of other colleges focused on the medical field.
The environment of education and self-improvement seems to have an impact beyond the confines of boot camp and medical school, as the city has been able to keep both violent crimes down so low, that your chance of becoming a victim is less than three in 1,000. Young professionals and aspiring students would easily find themselves at home and able to flourish in North Chicago.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 2.45
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 5.84
The vibrant village of Bartlett is rooted in the values of history, harmony and pride; working to preserve the past, embrace the present and plan for the future. This civic-minded town lays claim to one of the largest Little League programs in the country and still showcases its original railroad station, which was built in 1873, and is the last remaining original depot along the former Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad.
From history to sports to the local arts council, Bartlett has a lot to offer and its police force diligently works to keep the town, its historical sites and its residents safe and secure. In addition to keeping the crime rate so low that your chance of being a victim of violent crime in Bartlett is less than one in 1,000, this town is also prepared for threats from Mother Nature. Situated on a floodplain, Bartlett residents need to be ready in case the waters start to rise. A comprehensive program of flooding prevention and education helps keep residents and their homes safe and dry.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.75
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 7.64
Everything you need to know about the upstanding citizens of the village of Manhattan can be summed up by the valiant acts of Robert Dilling. Dilling is a third generation law enforcement professional who received the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce’s 2013 Citizen of the Year award after being shot twice and stabbed two other times while on police duty and working part-time as a Minuteman for the Illinois Department of Transportation.
The city regarded Dilling as an easy choice for citizen of the year, showing not only the courageous spirit of Manhattan, but also their passion for recognizing and honoring the village’s heroes. It’s the sacrifice of heroes like Dilling that helped limit the number of violent crimes in Manhattan to only five in 2012.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.70
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 8.03
29. Spring Grove
Spring Grove is nestled within McHenry County, surrounded by picturesque landscapes and divided by Nippersink Creek, which offers fishing, canoeing and swimming to residents and visitors. In addition to abundant water recreation, Spring Grove is also home to the Illinois Storytelling Festival that coincides with the town’s annual Fourth of July celebration. Spring Grove has been home to the festival, which features narrations from storytellers across the country, for over 20 years.
This lively city is also home to a crack police force that helped the town keep violent crime to only one reported incident in the most recent FBI statistics. Programs like summer safety camp, where officers teach children from kindergarten to fourth grade about bike and skateboard safety, fire prevention and safety, and outdoor and water safety, help the community take personal responsibility for security from a young age.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.17
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 8.82
Strategically located at the crossroads of Interstate 90 and Route 47, Huntley has become a local business hub offering plentiful opportunities for new business and a thriving economy. Breaking ground this year, Huntley is building a $233 million dollar hospital that will employ 1,100 individuals. Also underway is an I-90 interchanged at Rt. 47 that will be unveiling 300 acres of retail, office and industrial sites.
The village’s motto is “The friendly village with country charm” and it’s rapidly growing into an important Illinois hub. The police department’s value statement to treat citizens with equality, respect and compassion is the foundation that helps the brave officers of this city keep citizens safe from harm, as shown by the absence of any rapes, arsons or motor vehicle thefts in 2012. Perhaps it’s the sense of security along with an irresistible country charm that draws people to Huntley and makes the city’s expansion possible.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.25
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 8.78
31. Buffalo Grove
Home to actor Vince Vaughn, this Chicago suburb and former farming community is also a beacon of family values and safe neighborhoods, which helped Buffalo Grove capture a spot on “Money” magazine’s Best Places to Live list for 2013.What this town lacks in a traditional downtown and business district it makes up for with nearly 50 parks offering 800 acres of green space for residents to golf, hike, bike and picnic.
Active lifestyles are important to the citizens of Buffalo Grove, but so are keeping their community safe and crime-free. The village is protected by a robust police department that takes care of public safety needs from traffic control to providing resources to local schools and special programs for Alzheimer’s patients. Their comprehensive approach seems to be working, because Buffalo Grove was free of both murders and rapes in 2012.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.12
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 8.92
The snowy city of Marseilles has a strong community backbone that keeps this town happy and energetic, even in the face of tragedy. In 2013, flooding caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to 11 Illinois counties. Even as homes were being destroyed and evacuation contemplated, the American Legion of Marseilles hosted a pancake breakfast to brighten the spirits of victims and volunteers. It is this strong community that has helped land Marseilles the number 32 spot on our safest cities list, and definitely makes it one of the most optimistic.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.98
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 8.43
33. Prospect Heights
With a police department mission that includes reducing the fear and incidence of crime, it’s easy to see why Prospect Heights is so safe that you have less than a one in 1,000 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime in this Chicago suburb. This pleasant town was started by two visionary developers who, in 1935, had the dream of building a planned community to provide affordable housing to struggling, depression-era families.
The first six homes built by the town founders have become the active city that over 16,000 people currently call home. Just 20 minutes from downtown Chicago and situated along the shores of Lake Michigan, Prospect Heights enjoys a vibrant economy and continued growth that promises to keep this town’s future prospects looking bright.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.86
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 8.69
34. Palos Heights
As the home to Trinity Christian College, Palos Heights works to maintain the wholesome values that come with hosting a prestigious Christian school. This city has a strong religious history. In 1965, a group of scholars met in Palos Heights to discuss the need for a contemporary translation of the Bible, thus beginning a project that resulted in the New International Version.
Perhaps it’s the city’s history with faith or the picturesque homes lining manicured neighborhoods that have brought a number of actors and athletes to Palos Heights, including Jim Hughes, Quentin Richardson and Jennifer Lien to name a few. These famous folk, along with all the other city residents are all well cared for by the active police department whose work helped limit the number of violent crimes reported in 2012 to a mere six.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.48
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 9.86
This is one city that truly embodies a sense of community spirit. During the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904, Columbia closed all businesses and schools for one day and 1,000 of the town’s 1,300 residents trekked to nearby St. Louis to take in the sights and sounds of the landmark event, setting a record for the number of inhabitants from one city attending the fair at the same time.
Over the years, Columbia has grown to almost 10,000 residents, and as the sixth most affluent community per capita in Illinois, the city has retained its strong community spirit. Local law enforcement is proactive through a variety of services including their Got Drugs program that helps citizens dispose of expired and unused prescription medications and their annual Safety Town, which teaches children entering kindergarten and first grade about accident prevention.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 1.02
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 9.37
A city that strives for excellence, Itasca has a number of awards to hold to its name. In 2009, “Business Week” rated the village as the Best Affordable Suburb in the state of Illinois, number one for best parks and the number one for the most stop signs. These awards demonstrate the proactive approach that Itasca takes towards its values of affordable housing, community involvement and safety. It’s these actions, and an unbelievable record of just two violent crimes reported in 2012, that landed Itasca on our safest cities in Illinois list, adding another feather to the cap of this accomplished village.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.23
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 10.44
Even though it’s more 2,000 miles from Hollywood, this safe city has been featured in a number of box office hits, including John Hughes films “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Sixteen Candles.” It’s unlikely that their stellar safety record was a factor when it came to choosing film locations, but it’s definitely important to those who call Glencoe home.
Keeping this city free from all violent crimes, arsons and motor vehicle thefts in 2012 couldn’t have been easy, but the Glencoe Department of Public Safety seems to be up to the task. Located on Chicago’s North shore, this affluent village offers access to three golf courses, a forest preserve and various hiking and bike trails. Glencoe citizens are active and enjoy the freedom of exploring their surroundings with the comforting knowledge that their city is one of the safest in the state.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 10.73
Hinsdale, located just 21 miles west of Chicago, has an unmatched reputation in Illinois for it beauty. With a rolling, wooded landscape that lends itself perfectly to hometown charm and a name for rebuilding old homes into beautiful residences, it’s no surprise that Hinsdale is listed in the top one percent of wealthiest towns in Illinois.
The village has an open door policy regarding their police department, inviting and encouraging residence to attend and comment at the annual on-site assessment for accreditation. The city also calls for action with initiatives such as Block Watch, which works to quickly locate residents that may have cameras near the scene of a crime. If you want to be an involved community member in a top of the line neighborhood, then Hinsdale might be the city for you.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.12
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 10.69
39. Lake Bluff
Full of charming brick buildings, quiet, tree lined streets and sandy beaches; Lake Bluff is the picture of a classic, small seaside town. This town’s beauty isn’t just skin deep, though, because “Coastal Living Magazine” named Lake Bluff the fourth happiest coastal town. And it’s not just current residents who love calling this village home.
Legend has it, some of Lake Bluff’s former residents just can’t bear to say goodbye and their haunting stories are shared every other year in a Ghost Walk sponsored by the Lake Bluff History Museum. Whether it’s the ghoulish guided tours or a small-town sense of decency, Lake Bluff does a good job at keeping criminals at bay. In 2012, there were no violent crimes including rape and murder, reported in Lake Bluff. No wonder residents, both past and current, seem to love calling this seaside village home.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 10.96
Another affluent Illinois town, Wheaton takes an environmental approach to community involvement, believing that a healthy environment fosters a safe experience for all. The National Arbor Day Foundation has named Wheaton Tree City USA for the past 27 years due to its high-quality tree program led by the city’s Forestry Division.
Wheaton also spearheads other environment-centric initiatives like the Coexisting with Coyotes campaign that won the city communication department an award of excellence in 2011. Wheaton has also been recognized for its accessible public transportation, ranking as the sixth best suburb for transit out of 200 Chicago suburbs in 2012.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.23
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 10.89
Frankfort knows how to appreciate and preserve the past. Its historic downtown area brings to mind the charm of the 1890’s, right down to the quaint, old-fashioned streetlights. But even though downtown may look like a blast from the past, Frankfort is fully modern when it comes to the local cuisine and distinctive boutiques that bring the historic downtown district to life.
This city also stays up-to-date when it comes to public safety and security, making sure that none of its visitors or citizens fell victim to murder, rape or arson in 2012. And that impressive record helps Frankfort put on year-round community events including the Frankfort Country Market and Winter Festival, where citizens and visitors can relax and have a good time without worrying about criminal activity.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.56
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 10.84
Eureka, largely known for Eureka College, held a special place in the heart of Ronald Reagan. This quaint town with a reputation for excellence is where Reagan attended college and the former president continued to return to Eureka before and during his presidency, once as the Grand Marshall for Eureka’s annual Pumpkin Festival parade.
Besides now housing the Ronald Reagan museum, Eureka’s high school marching band boast class 1A championships from 2000-2006. This city is motivated and patriotic, and committed to the well-being of its citizens. This town stayed clear of arson, rape and murder in2012, helping it land a spot on list of the safest cities in Illinois.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.94
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 10.52
Boasting the “benefits of big city living in a hometown atmosphere,” the small town of Mascoutah offers first-rate schools, access to nearby St. Louis and the comforts of living in a close, neighborly community. One of the greatest comforts is knowing that in 2012 there was only one violent crime committed in Mascoutah.
It’s no wonder this town knows how to keep its residents safe, since the Department of Public Safety can trace its beginnings back almost 200 years to 1837 when records of the first Constables and Marshals appear. The Mascoutah Police Department operates on the premise that community involvement in crime prevention is crucial to creating a safe place to raise a family. This partnership is evidenced through programs like D.A.R.E. in the local schools and strong Neighborhood Watch associations.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.13
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 11.35
Image: CC BY 2.5
44. La Grange
It looks as if La Grange popped out of a storybook with cobbled sidewalks and classic brick buildings lining the attractive city streets. This quaint and lush town embodies the heart of classic American ideals, providing residents with a safe and beautiful community.
La Grange makes community growth a priority with actions such as a $1,000 college scholarship that the La Grange Business Association offers to local high school seniors. This Illinois village had zero counts of murder and only two counts of robbery in 2012, making La Grange a top choice when it comes to finding a safe and healthy community.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.90
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 10.56
45. Round Lake
The village of Round Lake’s motto is, “Real people. Living well, working hard, and having fun.” Thanks to the great job of the Round Lake Police Department, the residents of this northern Illinois town are able to live up to that motto because they know their homes and loved ones are safe. After all, your chance of becoming a victim of violent crime here is less than two in 1,000, and only 10 in 1,000 properties are at risk. That’s the kind of safety record that makes it easy for friends and neighbors to take full advantage of the community events that help make Round Lake special. One way this town gets together to have fun is the Community Garden Program, where any citizen can claim a plot and grow an abundant harvest.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 1.52
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 10.01
Image: City of Round Lake
The energetic village of Glenview is active when it comes to community involvement and making sure residents are able to enjoy the best of what Glenview has to offer. Events like the annual Bites and Brews, which is a craft beer tasting event combined with snacks from local eateries, is just one example of how Glenview gets everyone involved to have a good time.
The Glenview Chamber of Commerce is an active participant in throwing events like Bites and Brews and making Glenview a great place to live, work and visit. It’s easy to see why this town is eager to get out and enjoy themselves, especially because the incidence of violent crime is less than one Per 1,000 in this active town.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.87
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 10.67
Known as “The Friendly Village,” Worth is living up to its reputation, with only five violent crime incidents in the last reporting year. This village is home to a close-knit community of involved citizens who are passionate about the past, present and future of Worth. Situated on what was 10,000 years ago an ancient Lake Michigan beach, Worth was originally incorporated as a municipality on the urging of 38 founding citizens.
Today, Worth is home to more than 10,000 people who enjoy calling this friendly village home. Part of that friendliness comes out every year during the National Night Out, a program intended to promote partnership between the community and the police department and foster neighborhood spirit. The Worth Police Department also sponsors an Autism Awareness program, child safety seat inspections and provides comprehensive information about issues like crime prevention and Internet safety.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.46
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 11.16
Lincolnshire certainly has bragging rights for having zero counts of arson, motor vehicle theft, robbery, rape or murder in 2012. Perhaps this outstanding security comes from the Lincolnshire Police Department’s policy of using statewide resources such as the Northeast Illinois Regional Crime Lab and Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System. These organizations, among others that the Lincolnshire department is a member of, allow local law enforcement to be efficient and thorough. Two qualities that have helped land Lincolnshire on our 50 safest cities list.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.27
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 11.36
Even the youngest citizens pitch in to keep this community safe. Last November, a six year-old boy who refused to let his mother ignore a tornado warning, guided his family to safety just minutes before a tornado ripped through their Washington home. Such an act of bravery doesn’t surprise the residents of this civic-minded community.
Washington is proud of its fine schools and safe neighborhoods and these citizens don’t just sit back and wait for their city leaders to take care of them; there is a rich culture of volunteerism that gives the community a strong sense of ownership over their town and neighborhoods. That might be one reason that you have less than a two in 1,000 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime in Washington. In addition, the Washington Police Department has a number of special programs to enhance the safety and security of this vibrant city.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 1.45
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 10.22
We are happy to conclude our list by recognizing the town of Mundelein for their exceptional community safety. The village has a less than one in 1,000 incidence of violent crimes, a hefty accomplishment for this large town of over 31,000 residents. With such an abundant community, Mundelein relies on events like the annual A-MAY-ZING Mundelein’s Day of Caring, spearheaded by the police department, to remind the residents that it truly does “’take a village’ to keep Mundelein at its best.” This community-defining event is just one example of the heartfelt initiatives that the village of Mundelein and the police department take to strengthen the local community.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 0.83
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 10.80
Image: City of Mundelein
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