Whether you already call Missouri home or are contemplating a move to the Show-Me State, there are plenty of reasons to be drawn here, including rolling hills, beautiful rivers and plenty of history.
When comparing cities it’s important to look at the quality of schools, the housing market, economic stability, and whether the neighborhood you’re considering will be a safe place to live, work and play. All of that research can make your head spin; that’s why SafeWise has done all of the hard work for you when it comes to finding the safest places to hang your hat in Missouri.
We’ve conducted our own independent research and compiled that with the FBI’s 2012 Crime Statistics to bring you the top 50 safe cities in Missouri. Before making our list we considered 446 cities and narrowed it down based on population and strict criteria in regard to violent and property crime. Each city needed to have at a population of at least 4,000, which brought our candidates down to 148. Next, we looked at the number of violent crimes reported including aggravated assault, robbery, murder and forcible rape. Property crime was also analyzed; we looked at burglary, arson, larceny-theft and vehicle theft. Finally, to level the playing field for cities of varying populations, we looked at all the data and calculated the chance of these crimes occurring out of 1,000.
Helping you choose the most secure community for your home and family is our prime objective. But we don’t stop there. SafeWise also wants to help you stay safe once you’re settled. You can easily find all the resources you need for home and personal security at our Missouri Safety Directory. Now, let’s get started learning about Missouri’s safest places to live.
If your city made list, share the news by embedding the “MO Safest Cities” badge on your site. Click here to get the code, then just copy and paste. ——————————————————————————————————
Topping the charts as Missouri’s safest city is the town of Ballwin. Residents sleep safe and sound knowing their well-trained police department is ready to tackle anything they’re confronted with. Programs headed by the police department range from helping senior citizens who live alone to youth ride-a-longs aimed at keeping kids on the right track.
And we aren’t the only ones to notice Ballwin Police Department’s handiwork. One of the best places to live according Money Magazine in 2013, Ballwin continues to grow and enrich the lives of its residents each year. Even though this city has over 30,000 tenants, it maintains one of the lowest crime rates in the country. That combined with quality public education, multiple state parks and endless community activities makes Ballwin a premier Missouri city.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.50
Property Crimes per 1,000: 7.09
Our number two safest city in Missouri boasts “Small Town Living at its Best,” and with safe, tree-lined streets and plenty of civic pride it’s easy to see why residents love calling Savannah home. This bustling burg is also the county seat of Andrew County and is a welcoming community with plenty to enjoy from parks and golf courses to antique shops and specialty boutiques. And even though rapper Eminem called Savannah home for a time, the town doesn’t reflect his bad boy reputation. In fact, there were only two violent crimes in Savannah according to the latest FBI crime statistics, and there were zero murders, robberies, aggravated assaults or counts of arson.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.40
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.34
3. Town and Country
The city of Town and Country is the perfect picture of rural Missouri. With many large, undeveloped lots of land, white picket fences and few commercial establishments, Town and Country maintains a quiet, pastoral lifestyle with pride. Horses can be seen trotting down the streets and the neighbors are friends, but it’s not merely the town’s gentle attitude that keeps crime down. Town and Country has programs like the Crime Prevention and Safety Network that keeps residents informed with prevention tips and crime updates. With only three violent crimes in 2013 and zero counts of arson, residents can sleep soundly and enjoy the lush scenery that surrounds the city.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.28
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.95
Image: Town and Country Website
4. Bonne Terre
Named by the French for “good earth,” after a discovery of lead ore, Bonne Terre nabbed the fourth spot on our list thanks to their great track record for keeping residents and visitors safe. In 2012, there were only four reported violent crimes, and your chance of becoming a victim of property crime is less than nine in 1,000 in this former mining community.
Bonne Terre was home to the richest lead ore in the world and from those mineral-rich beginnings grew the family-focused community that is now home to nearly 7,000 citizens. And to make sure Bonne Terre keeps its reputation for being a safe city, the Bonne Terre Police Department works hard to partner with businesses and residents to promote crime prevention, increase safety awareness and improve the overall well-being of the town.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.58
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.71
This spunky city has an energized spirit about it. Rapidly growing from a small homestead to a bustling St. Louis suburb, Shrewsbury offers extensive parks and recreation programs to keep the community thriving. With a mission to provide a safe environment for residents to interact in, Shrewsbury provides myriad community activities from wine tasting and horse racing to community theatre productions. On top of that, the local Police Department is active in community programming from the DARE drug program to Safe Neighborhood Active Patrol (S.N.A.P). Whatever your passions may be, Shrewsbury has a place for you.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.32
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.69
The quaint city of Greenwood is not just one of the safest cities in Missouri; it’s also one of the greenest. Living up to its name, Greenwood is dappled with majestic elm trees and boasts five sprawling parks where friends and families gather to fish, cheer on the local little league team or simply enjoy a casual barbecue.
Making sure everyone can enjoy Greenwood’s outdoor amenities without worrying about personal safety, the Greenwood Police Department kept violent crime down to less than one reported incident in 1,000 in 2012. The low crime rate helps the city sponsor several activities throughout the year including Teen Night, a safe event where teens get together for everything from dodge ball tournaments to concerts by local bands.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.95
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.67
7. Rock Hill
Walk down any street in Rock Hill and you’ll find quaint brick houses situated between leafy green trees. This small city of just over 4,000 residents doesn’t take the natural scenery for granted. The community is invested in protecting the rich environment around them. Rock Hill has seven city parks in its 1.09 square miles of land along with a list of community programs to help the residents “go green.”
The latest major development in their efforts is the Bikeable Walkable Community Plan aimed at improving conditions for pedestrians and bikers around town. With only 47 reported property crimes in 2012, the second lowest on our list, the conscientious mentality in Rock Hill extends from recycling to safety, landing this town the number seven spot on our Safe Cities list.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.51
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.12
8. Webster Groves
This St. Louis suburb has been named one of the 10 best towns for families by “Family Circle” magazine. Blending tradition and progress, Webster Groves strives to be a community with a little something for everyone. For those who love a good high school football rivalry, it doesn’t get much better than the annual Missouri Turkey Day Game between the Webster Groves Statesmen and the Kirkwood Pioneers, a Thanksgiving tradition for over 100 years.
But if caring for the environment is more up your alley, Webster Groves has a progressive single-stream recycling program that makes it easy for residents to recycle without having to sort items. In addition, annual events like Make a Difference Day help to keep the whole city involved in keeping Webster Groves a great, safe place to live. And it seems to be working, because this thriving community of more than 23,000 only had 21 violent crimes in the FBI’s last reporting year.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.91
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.46
9. Pleasant Hill
Stop by Pleasant Hill in July and you’ll see the town bustling with excitement from the Cass County Fair. This important annual community event can give you a snapshot image of the Pleasant Hill community year ‘round. From a floriculture show that highlights the importance of agriculture in Pleasant Hill to the Classic Car, Truck and Bike show that brings every resident together, the Cass County Fair is the pride and joy of this quaint Missouri town.
When digging into why Pleasant Hill is such a safe place to live, you’ll find that their prepared police department is ready for anything whether it be animal control or the S.T.E.P. program that promotes safe traffic management and manages DWI checkpoints.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.73
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.74
Nestled in the St. Louis County suburbs, Ellisville offers an expansive parks and trails system, well-regarded schools and flourishing neighborhoods. Categorized as a village, it wasn’t until 1957 that Ellisville became a full-fledged city.
With over 230 acres of parkland, which is approximately once acre per 40 residents, Ellisville may be called a city, but it still feels like a lush slice of traditional Americana. This may be one reason the city has been recognized by “Money” magazine as one of the best places to live in America. Adding to the city’s appeal is the fact that in 2012 there were no reported murders, rapes, robberies or acts of arson in this family-friendly town.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.66
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.92
For those with a love of the outdoors as well as city life, Smithville offers the perfect combination. Located just outside of Kansas City, many Smithville residents commute to work and enjoy the perks of big city life from fantastic eateries to the finest shopping. But, when these lucky residents return home, they are surrounded by a genuine community and a crystal clear 7,700-acre lake.
Smithville Lake offers boating, water skiing and swimming beaches for the whole family to enjoy. Just off the coast lay two 18-hole championship golf courses, the only public courses in the Kansas City area. It’s not surprising that Smithville has had a growth rate of over 50 percent over the past decade, however, this charming city never lets numbers in the way of its intimate charm, and its low rates of both violent and property crime are a testament to that.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.87
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.91
Topping Movoto Real Estate’s list of the 10 best places in Missouri, Glendale stands out as a city where public safety is top priority. This town of nearly 6,000 only had three reported violent crime incidents in 2012, and the city sponsors a variety of regular events focused on the health and welfare of its citizens. Whether it’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training or analyzing the best way to manage 911 dispatching, the city of Glendale puts safety first.
Other initiatives are headed by the men and women of the Glendale Police Department, including a city-wide ban on parking between the house of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. in order to deter crime, leave roadways clear for emergency vehicles and make clearing snow more efficient.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.51
Property Crimes per 1,000: 14.51
The list of notables that have emerged out of Ladue is exhaustive, ranging everywhere from multiple U.S. Senators to MLB Hall of Famer Stan Musial to Thumbelina, the world’s smallest horse. You may think there is something in the water, but in actuality it’s the town’s strict adherence to their values that produces so many stars.
Ladue proudly adheres to the City’s Master Plan and promises to provide its fine citizens with the finest community services. Conveniently, Laude also has the highest median household income of any city in Missouri as of 2011, and is one of the highest in the country as well. As a city that holds fast to its values, it is clear from the absence of any reported murders or rapes in 2012, that community safety is high on that list.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.59
Property Crimes per 1,000: 14.76
Don’t let the name fool you – Battlefield is a peaceful community where there were only two violent crimes reported in the most recent FBI report. Named for its proximity to one of the first large battles of the Civil War, Battle of Wilson’s Creek, this city is known for honoring its history while looking toward the future.
Battlefield was one of many Missouri towns devastated by an F2 tornado in May 2003, but not even a tornado could wipe out the spirit of these citizens. The town has seen steady growth in recent years and took the tornado as an opportunity to come together and rebuild and refurbish many city buildings and parks.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.35
Property Crimes per 1,000: 15.23
15. Creve Coeur
The name of this safe city is derived from the French word crève cœur meaning “heartbreak” and comes from the Creve Coeur Lake. Although a few tales surround the lake’s unique name, a popular myth is one of a young Indian girl whose broken heart led her to the dipping springs. This enchanting spot has now become a popular hangout for young college students attending Creve Coeur’s Missouri Baptist University.
The school has brought a youthful energy to the city of Creve Coeur, creating an atmosphere of farmer’s markets and summer concert series. The active community has encouraged an active police force, which sponsors programs from citizen police training to the annual crime prevention event, Night Out.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.95
Property Crimes per 1,000: 15.12
Chesterfield is a city that values health, wellness and safety. With over 300 acres of green space, the city is home to numerous walking, biking and running trails and citizens are able to stay fit come rain or shine thanks to active membership in both the YMCA and the Jewish Community Center.
When it comes to keeping residents safe and sound, the Chesterfield Police Department takes their job seriously, as evidenced by only 23 reported violent crimes during 2012, which is a surprisingly low number for a city of almost 50,000 people.
The police department’s robust community offerings help Chesterfield’s men and women in blue keep their city safe. From the Chief’s Adolescent Advisory Board to regular Safety Town sessions, Chesterfield takes protecting its citizens seriously. By starting with the youth, this city is able to foster an environment of awareness, accountability and civic responsibility.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.48
Property Crimes per 1,000: 15.87
The second largest city on our list, O’Fallon quickly grew from a quaint railroad town to a booming urban hotspot in merely two decades. O’Fallon’s proximity to St. Louis combined with being the home of MasterCard’s Global Technology and Operations Center has turned the town into a popular spot for commerce.
Today, O’Fallon has everything you could want out of a city from multiple well-groomed parks to an independent Frontier League baseball team. And, of course, a top notch police department that has helped O’Fallon rank at the top of CQ Press’ safest cities in America list multiple years in a row and make sure that if you visit this booming city you’ll have a less than one in 1,000 chance of falling victim to a violent crime.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.92
Property Crimes per 1,000: 15.45
A thriving cultural center and healthy downtown business district keep residents and visitors busy in the safe city of Clayton. Annual events like the St. Louis Art Fair and the Taste of Clayton food festival bring people from across the state and the country to celebrate what Clayton has to offer. And all those visitors can rest assured that their safety and well-being are in good hands when they explore Clayton, which had no reported incidents of arson and zero reported murders in 2012.
The diligence of the Clayton Police Department helps keep criminal activity in check. Programs like the Citizen Police Academy and E-Alert Notification System enlist community support for crime prevention and safety awareness.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.50
Property Crimes per 1,000: 16.91
Willard is a child’s paradise. This family-oriented community has everything from a variety of great public schools to choose from, a popular recreation center complete with waterslides, and plenty of other kids to mingle with. While Willard currently only has one high school, the city has five elementary schools, the most recent being built in 2011 to accommodate the growing number of little ones in Willard.
The community embraces their growing demographic and makes youth safety and involvement a priority. With a strong D.A.R.E. drug prevention program headed by the local police department and adamant community involvement in youth sports programs, it’s no wonder that two Olympians have sprung out of this small town.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.56
Property Crimes per 1,000: 17.99
With less than ten violent crimes in this city of over 18,000 residents, it’s no surprise that Manchester is considered one of the safest communities in the Show-Me State. Offering the security and comfort of a small town, with easy access to big city amenities in nearby St. Louis, this prosperous city is full of family-friendly neighborhoods. Manchester also boasts top schools and a lively schedule of community events, like the Summer Concert in Schroeder Park and the Manchester Police Officers Clean Up for Special Olympics. Speaking of Manchester’s finest, they’ll keep you feeling safe and sound with their track record for keeping incidents of violent crime down to less than one in 1,000.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.50
Property Crimes per 1,000: 18.37
Like much of Missouri, Maryville is abounding with ripe vegetation and cascading hills. Maryville captures Missouri’s beauty even further with Mozingo Lake, which provides endless recreation from ideal fishing and boating waters to picturesque cabins that allow for a rustic night away from the city. The lush green of the Park Golf Course surround Mozingo Lake allowing for a quiet escape from the energetic beaches.
Mozingo offers climbing walls and youth camps year-round that bring the citizens of Maryville to this well-manicured space. Even if lake recreation isn’t your cup of tea, Maryville has a passionate historic district, plenty of community safety programs and an exciting nightlife brought in by Maryville’s own Northwest Missouri State students.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.00
Property Crimes per 1,000: 17.94
22. Sunset Hills
Home to Panera Bread, which considers itself a symbol of warmth and welcome, Sunset Hills is a close-knit community where you’ll find neighbors looking out for one another and pitching in to help when one of their own or a visitor is in need. This community spirit is evident when you consider that this town of around 8,500 only experienced a total of seven violent crime incidents reported in 2012.
The Sunset Hills police department was formed in 1973 and they stay current when it comes to keeping the residents and homes of Sunset Hills safe. The department recently joined the NIXLE emergency alert system that is designed to better inform citizens of emergency and safety advisories via email and text.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.82
Property Crimes per 1,000: 18.21
Proclaiming itself as possibly the friendliest town in the world, Malden is a place where neighbors look out for one another. Everyone pitches in to make sure their town is safe, vibrant, and a great place to call home.
Malden’s backyard is full of everything an outdoor enthusiast could want, with ample opportunities for fishing, hunting, camping, and boating. And everyone from college students to retirees are able to live and thrive in this family-centered, affordable community. Whether exploring the great outdoors or enjoying a day at the Bootheel Youth Museum, residents and visitors can all rest assured that their safety and well-being is in good hands. In 2012, this close-knit community was immune to both murder and rape, with no incidents of either being reported.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.87
Property Crimes per 1,000: 17.50
Boasting a clean record when it comes to counts of murder and arson, Nixa keeps its streets relatively crime-free. Your chances of becoming a victim of violent crime is less than two in 1,000 in this city committed to cooperation and an exceptional quality of life. As one of the fastest-growing cities in Missouri, Nixa works hard to hold on to its small-town atmosphere and neighborhood feel.
A top priority for Nixa residents is looking out for the welfare of children. The Nixa Kids First coalition provides resources for children and families who are struggling. Another example of the tender-heartedness of Nixa residents is evident in one of the city’s biggest passions – the care and development of Azalea gardens for businesses and residences. In 2011, Nixa was recognized as an Azalea City by the Azalea Society of America.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.19
Property Crimes per 1,000: 18.46
Olivette is a town with a checkered past that has made good when it comes to maintaining law and order. In the 1920s and ‘30s, Olivette was home to a group of notorious underworld gangsters named Egan’s Rats. Neighbors frequently reported loud noises from flying bullets during target practice and they dubbed their large estate the Maxwellton Club.
Today, the Maxwellton club still stands as the Olivette Police Department. The Olivette police force is a dedicated pack of individuals with a mission to stop violence and care for victims. With passionate programs for crime victim assistance and multiple groups dedicated to stopping violence against women and children, the Maxwellton Club estate has come a long way and now makes ending violence, rather than creating it, the priority.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.16
Property Crimes per 1,000: 18.58
26. Grain Valley
This Kansas City suburb is a fast-growing community that’s proud of its low crime rates, vast array of housing choices and small town charm. With your chances of becoming a victim of property crime less than 18 in 1,000, it’s no wonder so many people are choosing Grain Valley to put down roots.
Nearby Fort Osage, the second U.S. trading post west of the Mississippi, is a hallmark of the rich history of this area. The fort was a key way to befriend the local Osage Indians, and the current residents of Grain Valley carry on those friendly traditions today.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.32
Property Crimes per 1,000: 17.88
With such beautiful scenery surrounding Kirkwood, it’s no surprise that both residents and city officials make land preservation a priority. With efforts ranging from a Pedestrian-Bicycle Master Plan to a “50 Trees” street tree-planting program to the annual Greentree Festival that has been promoting family fun and conservation for over 50 years, Kirkwood is always striving to preserve the landscape around them. But, Kirkwood is more than their “Green City” title.
Not only were there no murders reported here in 2012, this charming turn-of-the-century city also has a thriving business community and nationally recognized schools that keep families flourishing throughout this St. Louis suburb.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.23
Property Crimes per 1,000: 19.39
Although this city holds an annual festival centered on infamous outlaw Jesse James, Kearney is all about law and order. In fact, this town of 8,500 only had three incidents of violent crime reported throughout 2012, making your chance of becoming a victim on Kearney’s tree-lined streets less than one in 1,000.
Kearney is committed to making sure Jesse James is the last outlaw that can call their friendly town home. Police-sponsored programs like the Explorer Cadet Program, which consists of six young adults interested in law enforcement careers, help plant the seeds for conscientious citizens who will grow into the kind of people that look out for one another and work to keep their city safe.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.35
Property Crimes per 1,000: 20.66
Dedicated to fulfilling their city mission to make Raymore a quality community in which to live, work and play, this Missouri suburb succeeds in all three. Despite being one of the fastest growing cities in the state, home ownership is still amongst the most affordable in the state, landing Raymore the number three spot on NerdWallet’s Best Cities for Homeownership.
Raymore also facilitates a growing entrepreneurial environment, helping small business owners reach success by providing free business counseling sessions each month. Furthermore, Raymore offers complete transparency within their city departments, making it easy to drop in on government meetings or review the latest police reports. Raymore also offers plenty of hiking trails and weekly farmer’s markets that keep the community energized and healthy.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.98
Property Crimes per 1,000: 20.31
30. Platte City
Situated on the bluffs of the Little Platte River, Platte City is the picturesque county seat of Platte County and offers plenty of scenic roadways to explore by foot, car or motorcycle. The bucolic scenery is reflective of the serene nature of this city that had a grand total of just 104 total crimes reported in 2012.
The low crime rate is likely due to a strong relationship between the police department and citizens. On the third Thursday of each month, the Platte City Police Department invites the public to a Beat Meeting where residents can connect with law enforcement and help resolve issues occurring in their community.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.46
Property Crimes per 1,000: 20.28
Liberty is a city full of history and its name did not come without a cost. Liberty has been a war torn town from Mormon unrest in 1838 to the Mexican-American War in the 1840s and the Civil War in the 1860s. However, no matter how many battles were fought, Liberty has always emerged triumphant. Today, this historic town features a growing space for commerce and a community of happy and involved citizens.
Thanks to the civic mindset in this safe city, visitors and residents can be assured that their likelihood of experiencing a violent crime here is less than two in 1,000. Stop by Liberty for a tour of the Historic Liberty Jail museum or walk through the impressive grounds of William Jewell College. Wherever you go, there will be a story to be told and enjoyed.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.92
Property Crimes per 1,000: 19.89
32. Carl Junction
Carl Junction is a town full of surprises. In 1892, fossils of two adult and two infant elephants were discovered at the foot of a mine. The remains were of an extinct species and were displayed at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 as the largest specimen ever found for that species. In 2011, quick-thinking residents weathered out a tornado by hiding together in a convenience store freezer.
Whether past or present, Carl Junction is a community of inquisitive, ambitious citizens who strive to make their community a vibrant and safe place in which to live, work and play. And it seems to be working, as Carl Junction was completely free of murder, rape and robbery reports in 2012.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.27
Property Crimes per 1,000: 22.06
Sitting at the intersection of Interstates 70 and 64, Wentzville has recently boomed into a hub for families and businesses. With a 322 percent population increase over the last two decades Wentzville has grown from a small rural town to a bustling city less than an hour out of St. Louis.
Business is flourishing too in Wentzville with GM recently announcing that they will exclusively use Wentzville’s plant for two of their 2015 vehicles. This news will hopefully bring more families to Wentzville as the city is not only prospering, but also picturesque and retains much of its small town charm.
Helping the growing youth population and promoting safety, Wentzville has programs like the Police Explorer Program that get kids excited about law enforcement and help them develop a positive relationship with the police department early on.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.93
Property Crimes per 1,000: 20.40
Known for a thriving historic downtown district and a favorite destination for antique lovers, Parkville is a quaint Kansas City suburb that provides an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city without sacrificing culture.
Home to Park University, this city understands the importance of maintaining a safe and secure environment, and the Parkville Police Department is definitely up to the task. Thanks to their efforts, your chance of becoming a victim of violent crime in their fair city is less than one in 1,000, and this community didn’t have any reported arsons, rapes, or murders in 2012.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.88
Property Crimes per 1,000: 21.56
35. Lake St. Louis
This young town had its beginnings in the 1960s, developed with the purpose of being a “first-class town.” Surrounding two beautiful lakes, much of Lake St. Louis looks like an image ripped from a travelogue. With two pristine country clubs offering premier amenities and green, manicured gardens surrounding the lakes, it’s no wonder why people flock to this up-and-coming town.
Because Lake St. Louis was developed by a sole investor named R.T. Crow, the city has a well-planned and cohesive flow about it, adding to the unreal beauty of Lake St. Louis. The community prides itself on living up to the original vision of a first-class town that brought Lake St. Louis to fruition. Similar to the high standards that Lake St. Louis was built on, the local police department holds themselves and their citizens to high ethical standards that ensure the prosperity of the entire community.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.02
Property Crimes per 1,000: 21.61
This town of just over 4,000 is a tight-knit community that celebrates things like local little league teams, the latest catch from the lake in Proctor Park and their top-notch record for keeping residents safe from harm. California made it through 2012 without any reported incidents of arson or murders.
A family-friendly town with a church on nearly every corner and award-winning schools, this safe city prides itself on being “small enough to know you, but big enough to serve you.” Some of the best service comes from the officers of the California Police Department, who also helped limit property crime in California to less than 20 incidents per 1,000.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 3.25
Property Crimes per 1,000: 19.48
37. Maryland Heights
The city of Maryland Heights is never short of entertaining activities for the whole family. Their historic Aircraft Restoration Museum has over 50 antique and vintage planes on display and is known around the world as a haven for antique aviation. If you’d rather catch a show, Maryland Heights’ 7,000-seat amphitheater has seen artists ranging from KISS to Keith Urban. Or, residents can always test their luck at the Hollywood Casino.
Whatever citizens and visitors of Maryland Heights plan to do, they can do it with peace of mind, knowing that this city experiences less than three violent crime incidents per 1,000 people. And making sure things stay safe and secure is the Maryland Heights Police Department, which has almost three decades of experience and immeasurable passion for its citizens.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.11
Property Crimes per 1,000: 21.51
Despite the town’s unusual name, Peculiar is full of proud citizens who wouldn’t want to call any other place home. One of the biggest community organizations is the Caring Hearts of Peculiar, a group that provides funding for a variety of social welfare resources in Peculiar and Cass County.
Those caring hearts seem to extend to everyday life for Peculiar residents as this town had relative peace throughout 2012, with no reported incidents of murder or arson. There’s no doubt some of the credit has to go to the Peculiar Police Department, which offers a variety of programs to help curb underage drinking and increase crime awareness.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.37
Property Crimes per 1,000: 21.31
Although Florissant is the 12th largest city in Missouri, the town feels incredibly intimate. With a long history of loyalty, holding the record for the longest serving Mayor in the United States, and a passion for community involvement, this big city really does embody the small town feel. A walk through Old Town to see many of Florissant’s perfectly preserved pieces of history will assure anyone of the adoration this city has for its past and future.
Born and raised in Florissant, the Chief of Police is active in creating a strong partnership with the community. This philosophy combined with the town’s inherent integrity has earned over 250 police officers and local citizens the Missouri Medal of Honor, the highest award the community can bestow on extraordinary individuals. This is a community you want in your corner.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.51
Property Crimes per 1,000: 22.40
With Route 66 running right through the middle of town, Waynesville does its best to welcome friends old and new as they pass through town on the historic highway. And it’s not just the residents and businesses that go out of their way to be pleasant; the Waynesville Police Department does a good job as well.
Residents are happy and proud of their local police department. For proof, take a look at some of the comments appearing on their Facebook page, like this: “I just had one of the most positive experiences with the police…The Waynesville Police Department truly cares for their community and practices the slogan ‘To protect and serve.’” Part of that service is evident in the fact that Waynesville passed the entire year of 2012 with no reported incidents of murder or rape.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 3.65
Property Crimes per 1,000: 20.66
41. Lee’s Summit
Downtown Lee’s Summit always feels like home. Its unique boutique shops and casual eateries intertwined with historic buildings won Lee’s Summit recognition from the Great American Main Street Awards in 2010. This spunky city has only improved since then, winning multiple awards for their Traffic Safety Program, a bronze medal from the League of American Bicyclists and receiving honors for their Sustainability Action Plan.
In addition, this town takes crime seriously, keeping violent crime down to just over one reported incident per 1,000 residents in 2012. Lee’s Summit’s active community combines police transparency with proactive initiatives that encourage citizens to work closely with the police in solving and preventing crime, giving all of its nearly 92,000 residents peace of mind.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.19
Property Crimes per 1,000: 23.16
If you’re looking for a city with low property taxes, excellent public schools and easy access to St. Louis amenities, then Crestwood deserves your attention. This family-friendly community also boasts an impressive record when it comes to public safety.
You don’t need to be on guard when you walk the city streets, because your chances of becoming a victim of violent crime is less than one in 1,000 in Crestwood. No doubt this is due to the service of the men and women of the Crestwood Police Department who are committed to a mission of public service that includes being responsive, courteous and responsible to the citizens they serve.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.92
Property Crimes per 1,000: 23.55
Less than five square miles and a population of just over 5,500 makes for an intimate community in the rural and rustic town of Pevely. In Pevely, neighbors are friends and the community works together to help each individual member grow and achieve. The annual Homecoming Festival embodies the support that defines Pevely as every citizen in town gathers year after year to celebrate the new school season.
In Pevely, no neighbor is left behind, which would explain why they had zero reported counts of murder and rape reported in 2012, according to the FBI’s most recent report. For a secure and quaint city, look no farther than Pevely, Missouri.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.54
Property Crimes per 1,000: 22.13
Considered the “Crossroads of the Nation” due to its northwest Missouri location, at the junction of Interstate 35 and U.S. 36, Cameron is a lively community where people know their neighbors and visitors are welcomed with open arms. Residents of Cameron pride themselves on their rural lifestyle, high school graduation rate of 92 percent and neighborhoods where families are free to live and grow secure in the knowledge that their city is a safe one.
Making sure those neighborhoods stay safe and secure is the Cameron Police Department, which is governed by the core values of fairness, integrity, leadership, dedication and enthusiasm. Thanks to their efforts, the city had an unblemished record in 2012 in regard to both murder and rape reports.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 3.12
Property Crimes per 1,000: 21.72
Underneath the charming exterior of Perryville lies an interesting history. Perry County has approximately 675 known caves, more than anywhere else in Missouri, and also holds the record for the longest cave in the state. On the surface of Perryville one may also be fascinated by the city’s unique ability to make this town of only approximately 8,200 people an industrial hub.
Forbes Magazine even went as far as to say that Perryville could hold the solution to America’s manufacturing problem. Boasting four major manufacturing plants that employ thousands of individuals, Perryville’s unemployment rate rests at roughly five percent, well below the 8.3 percent national average. With such high rates of employment, Perryville provides its citizens with security in more ways than one.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.93
Property Crimes per 1,000: 23.33
Nestled in the midst of rolling hills, this thriving town of 10,000 has stayed connected to its small town roots and traditional values. Strong community programs like the Drug Take Back Initiative are the rule rather than the exception in the bustling city of Eureka.
Residents regularly join forces with the Eureka Police Department to help keep their homes and families safe from harm, which is an added comfort to the thousands of visitors who come through town each year on their way to the nearby Six Flags amusement park. In fact, it’s easy for residents and visitors alike to sleep easy in Eureka, where your chance of becoming a victim of violent crime is just less than two in 1,000.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.08
Property Crimes per 1,000: 24.30
With a turn-of-the-century city hall building and classic high water tower, Higginsville fits the bill for idyllic Missouri cities. Charming and rural, one can easily imagine themselves casting a line into the City Lake on a breezy Sunday morning. Even though boating is permitted, wake speed is not approved, making City Lake a perpetually peaceful space.
Much like the lake’s waters, the Higginsville crime scene remains relatively calm, with zero murders, robberies or aggravated assaults reported in 2012. With active community policing and an experienced police department, Higginsville maintains a quiet atmosphere that allows residents to live stress-free.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.42
Property Crimes per 1,000: 25.09
Named for the seventh president of the United States, Andrew Jackson, this safe city did its namesake proud in 2012, keeping reported murder, robbery and arson at bay the entire year. But safety is just one reason to take note of the charming city of Jackson; it seems many residents have a connection to the town running through their veins.
There are several current citizens who are descendants of the original town settlers, and they have helped preserve the family values and community pride of their ancestors despite continued growth. Jackson offers a great blend of history and modern conveniences surrounded by impeccably manicured parks and green spaces.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.93
Property Crimes per 1,000: 54.21
Centralia is a town based on solid family and community values. Although the population barely exceeds 4,000, the community is clearly active and excited. One program that Centralia citizens head is Friends of the Park, which is aimed at helping children thrive and build strong relationships.
Through youth activities at their four local parks and state-of-the-art recreation center, community members strive to serve and protect local youth. It’s heartfelt programs like this, along with the dedicated police department, that ensures the community’s safety and keeps violent crime down to just under two incidents per 1,000 citizens.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.95
Property Crimes per 1,000: 25.05
Rounding out our top 50 safest cities in the Show-Me State is Odessa, and this city of over 5,200 is no slacker when it comes to protecting its citizens. Not only did 2012 end without one reported incidence of rape of arson, but there were less than 10 violent crimes reported throughout the whole year.
No doubt that low crime rate will help bring out plenty of revelers for the town’s annual Puddle Jumper Days celebration the first weekend of August. The tradition started with the city’s 1978 centennial and has been held every year since. Named for a type of train called a “puddle jumper” that stopped in Odessa for over 80 years, the event features Bed Races, a Little Mr. and Miss Odessa contest and plenty of food and entertainment to make sure there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.70
Property Crimes per 1,000: 25.36