What’s not to love about the lush state of Washington? Whether you enjoy hitting the mountain trails, boating, or taking in a breathtaking view over a luscious local wine, the Evergreen State has something for everyone. But there’s more to consider than recreation and geography when you’re looking for a new place to call home – and at the top of that list is the safety and security of your family.
SafeWise makes it easy to find the perfect fit for you and your loved ones. We’ve combined independent research with the 2012 FBI Crime Report to bring you Washington’s 50 safest cities with populations of 5,000 people or more. Check out the city profiles below to discover why the residents of these quaint, picturesque towns love to call their city home and why you might want to do the same. And to find out more about safety in the Evergreen state, check out our Washington Home Security and Crime Prevention Center.
Update: Due to an annexation of Kirkland and surrounding cities (Finn Hill, North Juanita, and Kinsgate) in 2011, the population we based Kirkland’s ranking on (from FBI UCR data) was incorrect. The rankings have been updated to correctly reflect the safety of cities in Washington.
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Topping our list of safe cities in the Evergreen State is the charming town of Connell. Nestled in the Columbia Basin of eastern Washington, Connell recalls the gilded ideal of small town America. This is a community where neighbors not only know one another, but look out for each other too.
In 2012, there were only six violent crimes reported, meaning 99 percent of the population remained safe and sound all year long. Whether it’s at the annual Fall Festival or the Connell Eagles’ homecoming game, the whole town shows up for events in this small, but vibrant community. And the city’s low crime rate means residents and visitors can relax as they enjoy a walking tour of Connell’s Main Street, which features murals and sculptures that comprise one of the greatest collections of public art in the Pacific Northwest.
Courtesy: City of Connell Facebook
It’s no wonder this picturesque Seattle suburb was able to snag the second spot on our list. Sammamish was named the 15th best place to live by “CNN Money” in 2011, and “Forbes” deemed it the friendliest town in America in 2012.
Possibly the youngest city on our list, having only been in incorporated in 1999, Sammamish is made up of residents who are proud of their neighborhoods and want to have a say in the management of their town. Sammamish landed on Neighborhood Scout’s list of Top 100 Safest Cities in the U.S. and proudly reported no murders and only one robbery in 2012. This city’s impressive safety record is certainly enhanced by community-based organizations like the Sammamish Citizen Corps, which is comprised of volunteer-based programs such as Community Emergency Response Teams, Volunteers in Police Service and Map Your Neighborhood.
Courtesy: City of Sammamish
Tucked away in King County, halfway between Monroe and Carnation, is the city of Duvall. Our third safest city in Washington is known for the famous Piano Drop, where an upright piano was dropped from a helicopter during a rock concert held at a Duvall farm in 1968.
Duvall still does the piano drop, but that’s just one of the fun traditions around town. Each year, the residents throw their own kind of party during Duvall Days, an annual festival held every spring that includes a fun run, parade and an old-fashioned pancake breakfast. And it’s reassuring to know that while the popularity of this local event keeps growing, visitors and residents can enjoy the festivities knowing that in 2012 there were no murders, rapes or robberies reported to authorities in Duvall.
“Duvall WA Bridge 01″ by Jmabel is licensed under CC BY SA
Our number four safest city is nestled amid rolling hills in the heart of Palouse country. Home to Washington State University, Pullman cares as much about the safety of its citizens as it does about how the Cougars are doing on the football field. Boasting no reported murders for the past seven years and some of the best schools in the state, Pullman offers a lot to families looking for a safe, wholesome community to call home.
This small, college town makes the most of the surrounding natural beauty with 14 parks, multiple walking paths and vast green spaces that offer everything the outdoor enthusiast could want. And a philosophy of community policing ensures a safe and secure environment for residents and visitors alike.
Courtesy: Pullman, WA Real Estate
Boasting over 5,000 years of history, DuPont has been home to happy, healthy families long enough to know how to keep its residents safe and sound. As one of the first places the European settlers set foot on the west coast and home to the first Hudson Bay Company’s fur-trading operation on the Puget Sound, DuPont claims a rich heritage of which current citizens are still proud, proclaiming on their city website, “If you are drawn to small town charm and love helping your neighbor, DuPont WA is the place!”
And even though they brag on the abundance of charming front porches in DuPont neighborhoods, the spunky residents of this historic town aren’t just sitting back in their rockers. Thanks to the work of the local police, a strong sense of community and a willingness to help one another, DuPont kept their record clean in 2012, with no reported rapes or murders.
“DuPont WA historical museum” by Jmabel is licensed under CC BY SA
6. West Richland
Surrounded by vineyards, wineries and the recreation of the nearby Columbia River, our number six city is known for good schools, safe neighborhoods and being a nice place to raise a family. West Richland’s commitment to being family friendly extends to whimsical neighborhoods like Candy Mountain Estates, where all the streets are named after candy bars and no expense is spared to create a fantastic Halloween experience for trick-or-treaters. The West Richland Police take their job seriously and it shows with a 92% clearance rate on all violent crimes in 2012.
7. Bainbridge Island
Just a 35-minute ferry ride from Seattle is the elegant island community of Bainbridge Island. Known for its top-ranking high school and breathtaking views of the setting sun over Puget Sound, the seventh safest city on our list is the perfect place to find small-town values, cute local boutiques and easy access to bright lights and big city of Seattle. In 2001, the island’s little leaguers made it all the way to the Little League World Series, and the whole city showed their support just as they do for a bevy of annual events like the Harvest Fair, Bainbridge Classic Horse Show and Bainbridge Bluegrass Festival, now in its eighth year.
But this responsible community isn’t just about the fun. There is a bounty of citizen involvement in community services. This includes the Helpline House and police programs that go above and beyond to keep residents safe, like the vacation house check for homes that are left unoccupied for any amount of time. The diligence is making a difference, in a 2013 community survey, 88% of residents said their neighborhoods are safe during the day and 64% felt their neighborhoods remain safe after sundown.
8. Liberty Lake
Once known as “Spokane’s Inland Seashore,” Liberty Lake is a growing community centered on gorgeous natural beauty and abundant outdoor recreation. Even though this little burg has boomed this century, experiencing population growth of 81.43% since 2000, some things never change.
The rich culture of this small eastern Washington town was founded on community celebrations including boating, dancing and fireworks, and if their modern Liberty Lake Days tradition is anything to go by, these neighborly folks still like to have a good time. But law and order don’t take a back seat to the party; this fun-loving community is able to get their party on and come away unscathed by the likes of arson or murder, according the FBI’s 2012 Crime Report.
Courtesy: City of Liberty Lake Facebook
Looking at Snoqualmie’s famed 268-foot waterfall might give you the impression that the residents of this Pacific Northwest city, much like the natural landscape, like a little danger. But the town that snagged our ninth spot is all about keeping home and hearth safe. In fact, 96% of Snoqualmie residents report feeling safe or very safe; and it’s easy to see why when this town had no reported rapes, murders or robberies in 2012.
The lucky people who call Snoqualmie home take full advantage of their sense of security, bounding into the great outdoors at every opportunity to enjoy hikes for every skill level along over 30 miles of trails and soak in a breathtaking view of the Cascade Mountains from any of 35 city parks maintained for family reunions, sunset picnics and lazy, afternoon naps.
Rounding out the top 10 is a city renowned for firsts. Steilacoom was the first incorporated town in the Evergreen State, as well as home to Washington’s first public library, first school and the first jail in Pierce County. In 2012, the jail didn’t get much action, with only one robber to track down among the town’s 6,000 residents.
Today, Steilacoom has become a favorite community for soldiers and their families stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. And the small-town vibe is never more present than at the bustling community center where, depending on the day, you can find Steilacoom residents taking advantage of blood pressure screenings, belly dance lessons or a rousing round of bingo.
11. Mercer Island
Situated in Lake Washington, Mercer Island is the most populated lake island in the United States. Approximately 22,000 people call these six square miles of woodsy paradise home, and they couldn’t be more proud of their hometown. Close quarters make for a strong sense of community, and the “Islanders” definitely do their best to preserve the small-town atmosphere and sense of security that permeates Mercer Island.
Claiming one of the lowest crime rates in Washington, this island community experienced only 11 violent crimes in 2012, which is impressive for a city of more than 23,000 residents. Islanders believe it’s never too early for crime prevention. There is an abundance of youth services intended to prevent future crime and curb substance and alcohol abuse and violence. Emphasizing in-school services from trained counselors and police officers and community service, programs like VOICE (Volunteer Outreach in Communities Everywhere) offer structured service opportunities to youth from sixth grade through high school.
Courtesy: Jmabel, CC BY SA
Recognized for its distinctive downtown windmill, Lynden is a town steeped in pioneer history and can-do gumption. This close-knit community offers safe, affordable living in a community rich in character. Located just four miles from the Canadian border and dotted with nearly as many churches as beautiful dairy farms and fertile fruit orchards, Lynden embraces the values of a faith-based community, which likely contributes to the city’s lack of violent crime. In fact, the odds of becoming a victim of violent crime is only one in 1528 in Lynden, about five times less likely than in the rest of the state.
But just because most residents like to dress up in their Sunday best and belt out hymns on Sunday morning, doesn’t mean they never let their hair down. Lynden marks the turning of the seasons with pumpkin patches ripe for the picking and a brilliant holiday light parade through town.
Courtesy: Traveling12feet, CC BY SA
Brier is a place where people value their space and wooded, rural areas are preferred to the glitz of urban sprawl. But even if your nearest Brier neighbor is a ways down the road, you can be assured they’re still looking out for you. Located just 15 miles from downtown Seattle, it’s remarkable that Brier can maintain a small-town feel that extends all the way to small-town crime statistics. With no reported arsons, rapes, murders or robberies in 2012, maybe Brier has the right idea when it comes to citizens giving each other their space.
Once a year, though, Brier residents come out for the annual “SeaScare” event, which is a sendoff to Seattle’s annual “Seafair.” Nothing is held back when it comes to putting on this nautical-themed festival that included a porch light parade, music and culminates with the screening of a classic movie.
Courtesy: Classic Plumbing NW
14. Maple Valley
This sleepy community tucked away between Tacoma and Seattle sure got a lot of attention in 2013 for being one of the hottest suburbs in the country and a top place to raise children. You don’t get accolades like that without making sure residents feel safe and secure to enjoy the nearby lakes and trails that help harried commuters escape the big city rat race after a hard day’s work.
Maple Valley’s ability to keep crime low is impressive, especially considering that this town claims to have the largest listing of festivals and events in the area. Despite the regular influx of revelers, this town has managed to maintain a property crime rate that is over 20% less than Washington’s crime rate and 10% lower than the national average.
Another Washington city that’s received its share of national recognition, Kenmore was named one of the “Best Metropolitan Neighborhoods to Live” by “Seattle Magazine,” and it is also one of the safest communities in the state. Local residents might know to follow the Red Brick Road, but there’s no wicked witch lying in wait on this historic, King County landmark. Instead, the Red Brick Road brought a bevy of weekenders to this sleepy community.
City slickers seeking their own garden plots were able to purchase small segments of land from locals and fulfill their dreams of fragrant blooms and ripe tomatoes. For a brief time in the ‘20s, Kenmore also attracted free spirits who started two short-lived nudist camps. But today, you’ll find this pretty town is all about wholesome family values, which shows when you consider the fact that this town has seen less than 10 robberies in the past two years and no murders for the last four.
Courtesy: Solarbird, CC BY SA 2.5
The Native American meaning of this town’s name is “a good camping ground,” and Mukilteo has been appreciated as a verdant and fruitful place to live, work, and play. As recently as 2011, “Money Magazine” ranked Mukilteo number nine on its list of the top 100 small towns in America. This Seattle suburb has been increasing its curb appeal with several community face-lifts, including refurbishing historic Lighthouse Park.
Keeping crime low through awareness programs and community initiatives probably doesn’t hurt either. Mukilteo takes neighborhood safety seriously, which is one reason why residents are approximately 50% less likely to experience a crime against property than elsewhere in the Evergreen State.
Courtesy: Ken Brown, CC BY SA 2.0
17. Mill Creek
It’s not surprising that a community planned around a golf course would foster a sense of well-being, friendliness and safety. In fact, the likelihood of being the victim of a personal crime incident in Mill Creek is one in 1,000. It’s odds like those that make it easy for Mill Creek residents to relax and enjoy a round of golf, or enjoy any of the 23 miles of nature trails this scenic town has to offer.
Mill Creek makes sure there are plenty of activities to keep residents and visitors of all ages out of mischief. From flashlight egg hunts and skateboarding expos to a Japanese flower arranging exhibition, Mill Creek offers something for everyone to enjoy.
Courtesy: Ekaune, CC BY SA
Camas is a proud paper-mill town that is still home to an operating mill, and continues to reap the benefits of hard work, family values and outdoor recreation. It’s the strong commitment to a certain quality of life that makes Camas residents stand up and do what it takes to keep their homes and families secure. Remarkably, the chance of becoming a victim of crime in Camas is one in 1659, which blows away the state odds of one in 338.
Camas Police consider their values and methods to be “old fashioned,” explaining that officers “like to communicate with people face-to-face when possible” and “that the best results are achieved when we work cooperatively with our citizens.” If old-fashioned police work and values is what it takes to be named one of the safest cities in the Evergreen State, then maybe more cities should take a cue and revisit the strategies and techniques of yore.
Kirkland is a bustling city on the eastside of Lake Washington, just outside of Seattle. Residents and visitors gather around the unique downtown waterfront to experience the local flavor, but all you have to do to enjoy a piece of Kirkland is visit your local Costco, as their Kirkland brand is named for this former headquarters of the well-known warehouse brand.
Now known as a business and idea hub, Kirkland city continues to fuel local creativity with idea forums and open houses asking for community input. When it comes to safety, Kirkland boasts a violent crime rate that is 49% lower than the average for Washington. Secure and ever expanding, Kirkland might just be the right place for your ideas to grow into something more.
Courtesy: Tradnor, CC BY SA
20. Battle Ground
Named for a battle that never took place, Battle Ground continues to keep the peace as one of the safest places to call home in Washington. And the proud officers who serve the residents of this town seem to be doing a great job. According to the Battle Ground Police Department’s most recent annual report robberies, assaults, burglaries and thefts all decreased from 2011 to 2012.
Safety may be one reason this little Pacific Northwest town has been home to its fair share of celebrities including rocker Rob Hotchkiss of the band Train and “One Tree Hill” starlet Bethany Joy Galeotti. Battle Ground offers the comfort of a close-knit small town, but is near enough to Portland, OR that it’s easy to scratch that occasional itch for a night on the town.
It might seem like a town developed by the host of an amateur hour radio talent show would be fun and fancy-free, but Fircrest doesn’t fool around when it comes to the safety of its residents and visitors. The proof is in the pudding, with the FBI reporting no murders or rapes in Fircrest for the whole of 2012.
This town located smack in the middle of Tacoma, provides a peaceful oasis for its commuter residents, and no safety measure goes untended. Even the local speed limits are lower than surrounding areas, which shows a unique commitment to both motorist and pedestrian safety. It’s these sorts of little things that drive locals to unwind, meander down Regents Boulevard and enjoy the offerings of local shops and restaurants.
Microsoft’s hometown has gotten a lot of attention, even capturing the number five spot on “Money Magazine’s” 2012 list of 100 Best Places to Live. Boasting excellent schools, thriving industry and a smorgasbord of nearby activities, it’s no wonder Redmond is a sought after place to call home.
Known as the “Bicycle Capital of the Northwest,” Redmond offers over 1,000 acres of public parks for residents to enjoy on two wheels. And thriving local retail and restaurant developments draw regular crowds that take full advantage of the town’s low crime rate, which is over two times less than that of the rest of the state.
The “Gateway to the Gorge” is a small, prairie town at the west end of the Columbia River Gorge known for the world famous Washougal Motocross Park. Every July, this quaint northwest village becomes home to over 20,000 visitors who share a love of motorcycles, death-defying feats and good times. But during the rest of the year, Washougal residents are more likely to be found sharing a laugh over some home cooking at the Puffin Café while watching the tugboats make their way down the mighty Columbia.
A growing suburb of Portland, Washougal is currently experiencing a revival of its downtown district and offers a safe place for families seeking a sense of community, rich history and incomparable recreation.
Courtesy: Oroso, CC BY SA
24. Lake Forest Park
This aptly named city sports not only a beautiful lake, but courageous citizens who are passionate about their community members. In January 2014, two citizens and a police officer risked their lives to help pull a woman out of a burning car after an accident. Later that month, the city recognized the courage and quick thinking that saved the woman’s life with a ceremony at city hall.
In this small lake town, the occupants create a tight-knit community that rejects large industrial and commercial companies. Less than four percent of the town is commercial property, leaving the rest of the city as wide-open green parks and quaint single-family houses. It’s easy to imagine living in such a wholesome city.
Courtesy: Solarbird, CC BY SA
Issaquah city is the perfect combination of art, creativity and safety. Joining forces with the Seattle International Film Festival, the largest film festival in the U.S., Issaquah is hosting their own international film festival this year. Later in 2014, Issaquah will also throw their annual Salmon Days Festival and the city holds an ArtWalk downtown every Friday.
Residents can enjoy the artsy community of Issaquah and sleep soundly with the many initiatives that the Issaquah Police Department manages such as neighborhood Block Watch and emergency preparedness programs. Issaquah is so safe that the chance of becoming a victim is only one in 1,741, which is pretty good odds in a town of over 31,000 people.
Courtesy: KurtClark, CC BY 2.0
26. College Place
A self-proclaimed “great place to call home” and host to Walla Walla University, College Place really is ideal for young adults and families. With pastoral landscapes depicting red barns in fields of gold, College Place also has several police initiatives that keep the wholesome quality of such an idyllic setting.
With the violent crime rate 50% lower than the Washington average and the Washington violent crime rate being 23% lower than the National average, it’s easy to see that initiatives such as Homeland Security surveys and Block Watch programs are helping to keep College Place safe. Whether you are looking for a university for your children to attend or a new homestead of your own, College Place has a lot to offer.
27. Lake Stevens
Although the lake has stayed the same, the city of Lake Stevens has undergone many changes since it was first settled in 1886. Originally an industrial town, Lake Stevens became known for the “world’s largest sawmill” in 1919. After the mill burnt down, twice, the city became a resort town. The majestic landscape was divided into private and public beaches and Lake Stevens became a popular tourist destination between the 1920’s and ‘50s.
After the population sprouted from a mere 900 to over 6,000 by 2000, the city lost much of its resort persona and became an interconnected community of residential homes. Considering the boom to its population, which now exceeds 28,000 residents, it’s impressive that crime has stayed under control, remaining nearly 50% lower than the rest of the state. NerdWallet Finance dubbed Lake Stevens the best place to live for job seekers in Washington.
If you are looking to be part of an ever-growing and improving community, then the thriving city of Edmonds could be right for you. With ongoing cultivation like the Sunset Ave Walkway project and Community Cultural Plan, it is easy to become not only a resident, but an involved community member in Edmonds.
You will not only find safety in Edmonds, but a community that cares about improving the natural landscape through countless initiatives and sustainability projects. In fact, Edmonds was recognized by the Association of Washington Cities with a Municipal Excellence Award, acknowledging the city’s commitment to ensuring a sustainable future for its children and grandchildren.
Courtesy: pfly, CC BY SA 2.0
The Washington town of Bothell has a reputation for success. Due to the city’s location near Seattle and ability to create jobs, the population grew from about 1,000 in 1,950 to over 30,000 in 2006. In 2000 Bothell opened Cascadia Community College, which quickly became the second best community college in the nation in 2006 and shares a campus with a branch of the University of Washington.
Bothell has more than jobs and education to brag about; in 2007, almost 7,000 people gathered for a celebratory parade in honor of sixth season “American Idol” runner-up Blake Lewis, who proudly calls Bothell his hometown. Whether your ambitions involve education or fame, Bothell has a distinguished reputation and might be the perfect place for you to call home.
Courtesy: Dara Korra’ti/Dawnstar Graphics, CC BY 2.5
One thing’s for sure, Richland is rich in security. In 2012, there were no murders and only 11 robberies in this town of over 50,000 residents. The Richland police department takes crime seriously, implementing a program philosophy called PARSTAT. This process, which stands for Performance and Accountable Response to Statistics, is based on the Computerized Statistics program that was originally made famous by the New York City Police Department in 1994.
Although Richland is much smaller than NYC, the police force take their positions as protectors of the community just as seriously, leaving more time for residents and visitors to relax at one of Richland’s golf courses worry-free.
Don’t be fooled by its size – Stanwood may be small, but this town sure knows how to do business. Stanwood streets are some of the safest in the state, and the proof is an unblemished record boasting zero murders since 2005. Even the Stanwood Chamber of Commerce promises a “peaceful small town and rural experience” to any visitor or resident of this quaint community.
Because of Stanwood’s rural atmosphere, it becomes the perfect getaway for camping, mountain biking, hiking, kayaking and more. Enjoy the recreations of Stanwood with total peace of mind.
Courtesy: Jmabel, CC BY SA
Named for the incredible views of both Mount Rainer and Mount Adams, Grandview is a close community tucked away in the Yakima Valley. Grandview residents are serious about maintaining a high quality of life and even have a published goal of ensuring Grandview is a “Great Place to Live,” and a safe, attractive, livable and growing small town.
Thanks to community-based initiatives like Block Watch, the crime rate in Grandview was 64% less than the U.S. Average in 2011. Block Watch is a program of neighbors looking out for each other and reporting any unfamiliar or suspicious people or activity. But Grandview isn’t all work and no play, this town is home of the Yakima Valley Fair and Rodeo where people from around the state flock to enjoy the down-home hospitality of this charming town.
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The lucky people who make their home in this King County town, nestled in the midst of rolling fields and picturesque dairy farms, know there’s no place better to raise a family.
Known as the base camp to Mt. Rainier, Enumclaw is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream, with easy access to skiing, hiking, beaches and just an hour away from catching the Seahawks or Mariners on their home turf. Despite the high visitor traffic, Enumclaw maintains a startlingly low violent crime rate. In fact, the odds of becoming a victim of violent crime in Enumclaw is 85% less than in the rest of the Evergreen State.
Courtesy: Jmabel, CC BY SA
This small, pastoral town is the county seat of Benton County and home to an impressive array of annual events and festivals for a town with a population of less than 6,000. Situated along the Yakima River and home to nearly 40 wineries, several of Prosser’s annual events celebrate the local wines. Whether it’s Thanksgiving in Wine Country, a wine tasting held the Sunday after Thanksgiving or the Wine Country Spring Fair held each Mother’s Day, this little community is vibrant and welcoming.
It’s no wonder this town is excited about wine; it was the birthplace of Walter Clore, Formally recognized as the “Father of Washington Wine.” Clore’s research at Washington State University played a crucial role in identifying eastern Washington’s soil as perfect for growing premium wine grapes.
35. East Wenatchee
East Wenatchee is a town rich in historic milestones. In 1931, the small, Columbia River town became part of aviation history as the landing place for the first nonstop flight across the Pacific Ocean. To commemorate the event, the city holds the Wings and Wheels Festival every October, which features a parade, carnival, dance and fly-in.
The fertile ground of East Wenatchee wouldn’t let the sky have all the glory. In 1987, a significant archeological find was accidentally discovered by a group of farmworkers digging in one of the many local orchards and a cache of 11,000-year-old artifacts were among the items unearthed. And East Wenatchee knows how to keep such significant finds safe, with a violent crime rate that was 43% lower than the national average in 2010.
Courtesy: jsgottwald, CC BY SA 2.0
Originally a coal mining town, Newcastle is one of “Money” magazine’s best small towns in America for 2013. A combination of community pride, safe streets, more than 40 acres of parks and a low 5.1% unemployment rate make it easy to see why Newcastle is such a desirable place to call home.
Its close proximity to Seattle also affords residents all the perks of a big city without the hassle of having to live in the urban jungle. And a dedicated local police force provides protection, education and emergency services to Newcastle residents, helping maintain a downward trend in crime incidents year-over-year since 2010.
Seattle’s largest suburb is an affluent community that manages to stay connected to its rural, small-town beginnings while embracing the cutting edge of technology. It’s no wonder this “boomburb” keeps growing when you consider that the city’s schools are consistently among the best in the nation, and the median household income is over $20,000 more than the rest of the state.
Bellevue Police work hard to keep its residents sleeping well at night, which can be a challenge in a city of more than 126,000 residents. In an effort to increase communication with the public, CrimeMapping.com went live in 2012. Bellevue is one of just a handful of cities in Washington to use this interactive mapping service to keep citizens informed and up-to-date on police and criminal activity in their city.
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One of the three cities that comprise the Tri-Cities area of eastern Washington, Pasco started as a stop for fur trappers and gold traders in the early 1800s. With the evolution of nuclear power and the large Hanford Site project, Pasco saw a huge boom in the 1940s and 1950s. Pasco is a community centered on family, and there’s no better place for local families to support their neighbors than at the Pasco Farmer’s Market every Saturday and Wednesday from May through October.
This town is situated near three major rivers, the Columbia, Yakima and Snake, and residents cherish the beauty of their open spaces and parks. To make sure the city’s recreation areas stay pristine and safe, Pasco initiated the Adopt-a-Park program that provides opportunities for families, individuals and groups to help keep the parks they love in top condition.
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A town whose residents pride themselves on being known for their friendliness and independent spirit, Pacific is a lively community situated along the banks of the White River. The area is known for its easy access to the Interurban Trail, a 14 mile trail that follows the historic Interurban Rail Line.
The trail is just one of many options for outdoor recreation enthusiasts. Pacific is also close to Mt. Rainier and the river provides endless opportunities to get the family out for fun in the sun. The friendliness of the town is reflected in its low violent crime rate of 0.74. Compared to the national average of 3.9, that’s almost nonexistent.
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40. Mountlake Terrace
This active, civic-minded community is a place where residents and visitors take full advantage of the city’s 262 acres of recreational attractions. Mountlake Terrace is a mere 15 minutes from Seattle and provides plentiful access to both city amenities and outdoor activities like fishing, boating and golf.
This is the kind of town where everyone turns out on Friday night to watch the Mountlake Terrace High School Hawks go up against their latest foe and wins and losses are collectively celebrated and mourned. Residents also take pride in keeping their safe and secure city dotted with well-maintained homes and manicured lawns. Every year the Evergreen Awards honor property owners and renters who go above and beyond when it comes to beautifying, improving and renovating their homes.
Monroe’s town slogan is “The Adventure Starts Here,” and whether it’s the MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour, a Summer Concert Series or a series of runs and triathlons, this safe city seems to be doing its best to make sure the adventure never ends.
Tucked away in Snohomish County, Monroe is also home to Evergreen Speedway and the Evergreen State Fairgrounds. To help make sure safety and crime prevention stay on the minds of citizens, the Police Department hosts an active National Night Out Against Crime event each August.
Courtesy: Jmabel, CC BY SA
Once surrounded by strawberry farms, Marysville, or “The Strawberry City,” is a great place to call home thanks to its low unemployment rate, great safety record and well-maintained neighborhoods like North Lakewood and Whiskey Ridge. From a humble trading post, Marysville grew into a thriving city where police and citizens work together to make sure their town is safe and sound.
The Marysville Volunteer Program is a proactive, community-based crime prevention task force that assists the police department with neighborhood, park and school patrols as well as vacation house checks and removing illegally posted signs throughout the city.
43. University Place
Situated on the Puget Sound, University Place isn’t just another pretty Washington town. Yes, University Place boasts amazing views of Mt. Rainier and the Olympic Mountains – not to mention a gorgeous waterfront – but it is also the hometown of notable Americans. These big names include famed funny man Gary Larson, creator of “The Far Side” comics, and Margaret Witt, a retired Air Force Major who helped overturn “Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell.”
In addition to being the hometown of some influential people, University Place and its citizens have also established a vibrant, diverse community where residents are active participants in keeping their streets and homes safe. In 2012, there were no murders and just two arsons reported, which is something to be proud of for a town with over 31,000 citizens.
Innovative public safety programs make it easy for concerned citizens to get involved. The Crime-Free Multi-Housing Program is a three-part program that helps keep rental properties drug and crime free. The program includes a 16-hour training seminar, safety and security certification of buildings and crime prevention meetings.
Courtesy: B. Vasiliy, CC BY 2.0
44. Bonney Lake
If you’re looking for a town with a rural feel but still want easy access to your favorite stores and restaurants, Bonney Lake might be the right place for you. Not only is this fast-growing community a great place for families, it’s also home to excellent schools, multiple lakes and fun annual events that bring the whole community together.
Each summer you’ll find residents tapping their toes to the sounds of the Tunes@Tapps outdoor summer concert series. And a Bonney Lake summer wouldn’t be complete without taking part in the cornucopia of family activities offered during Bonney Lake Days, including a fun run, parade, pancake breakfast and even a skateboarding competition. Making sure crime doesn’t ruin the fun, the Bonney Lake Police are helping the town keep robberies down to just six in 2012 and maintaining a violent crime rate almost three times lower than the rest of the state.
Courtesy: City of Bonney Lake
45. Oak Harbor
Located on scenic Whidbey Island, Oak Harbor is touted as the island’s premier waterfront community and affords a spectacular view of Deception Pass Bridge. A popular destination for bird watching, this bucolic burg definitely embodies classic Americana. Home to one of only five drive-in theatres left in the state, Oak Harbor is a community centered on family-friendly events and simple pleasures.
Residents and visitors alike benefit from the diligence of the Oak Harbor Police Department. The department provides a full spectrum of patrol, investigative and crime prevention services, covering everything from fireworks safety to addressing workplace violence. That might be why this bustling community of nearly 23,000 people reported no murders and only three robberies in 2012.
The city of Shoreline is taking a modern day approach to public safety with their new Alert Shoreline Program. This system allows residents to receive a text, email or phone call when there is a public safety notification. Users can input their home, school or work address to get location-specific alerts and will receive instructions on what to do in the event of a disaster.
When Shoreline isn’t working on creating more efficient ways to keep the community safe, the city is rallying at city hall to support the Seattle Seahawks or opening a Winter Shelter to help the homeless. With all the great people in Shoreline, it’s evident it’s a passionate community.
Courtesy: Jmabel, CC BY SA
47. Normandy Park
Just a hop, skip and jump from downtown Seattle, Normandy Park offers all of the perks of inner-city life without sacrificing the small-town atmosphere. Passionate about maintaining a pedestrian-friendly community, Normandy Park invests a lot of time into their city parks.
Originally created to preserve the naturally wooded landscape, the city parks now host numerous recreational activities for the community. With Normandy Park’s ADOPT-A-SPOT program and recent “Put your Handprint on the Playground” event, the city ensures the community will always be involved in maintaining the environment that defines their beloved city. And it’s that strong sense of community that helped keep this friendly town free of both murders and rapes in 2012.
48. Port Townsend
Put on your captain’s hat and walk down a real colonial port as white sailboats dock at the rustic wooden harbor of Port Townsend. This breathtakingly beautiful seaside city will have you feeling like an 18th century explorer as the city was built with the intention of being the largest port city on the west coast. Originally named by explorer George Vancouver after his friend, the Marquis of Townshend, the city evolved into a quaint residential area and never quite reached its potential an international hub.
The charming community has done an outstanding job keeping residents safe, reporting only one robbery and no murders in 2012. The Northwest Maritime Center still stands as a premier location to build and sail boats. Anyone with nautical dreams will find themselves right at home in Port Townsend.
Courtesy: Jmabel, CC BY SA
A Washington anomaly, the wine country city of Kennewick boasts over 300 days of sunshine a year. The city’s blue skies, combined with their over 160 wineries, have made Kennewick a prime tourist destination.
This Washington city keeps its residents the priority, using educational programs like the Crime Resistant Community Living program to keep inhabitants aware and empowered. This program focuses on keeping drugs and other criminal activities out of residential rental neighborhoods by educating residents on signs of criminal activity and empowering landlords to resolve illegal activity on their property safely.
Courtesy: Theresa Will, CC BY SA
City pride is never in short supply in the home of Eastern Washington University. Located only 17 miles southwest of Spokane, Cheney was covered in red and black as the Eastern Eagles football team broke 12 FCS records in their 2013 season.
When considering attending a university or moving a young family to a college town, it’s important to know your neighborhood won’t be like living in a frat house. Cheney scores high marks for safety both on and off campus. Working together, University and Cheney Police Departments are committed to being the best “Crime Fighters” in the state of Washington.
Courtesy: Jmabel, CC BY SA