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The 50 Safest Cities in Illinois — 2015


Illinois is home to the third-largest city in the country, Chicago — which is considered the cultural center of the Midwest. Beyond the world-class dining and dominating sports franchises of Chi-Town, Illinois offers a diverse cross section of everything that makes America great.

With successful businesses, flourishing agriculture, and outdoor recreation, Illinois has a little something for everyone. Rooted in the same ambition and moral fiber that gave birth to Abraham Lincoln, strong community spirit is a common theme for the 50 cities that made our safe cities list. In fact, devotion to civic duty was so consistent that 33 of these safe cities are on our list for the second time.

Learn more about how we rank our Safest Cities reports.

How We Chose the Safest Cities in Illinois

To identify the 50 safest cities in the Prairie State, we reviewed the most recent FBI Crime Report statistics from 2013, along with population data. We eliminated all cities with fewer than 5,000 residents as well as any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI.
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From there, we had 298 cities to evaluate. We narrowed it down based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) in each city. To further level the playing field, we calculated the likelihood of these crimes occurring out of 1,000 people in each city.

A full 90 percent of the cities that made our top 50 reported no incidents of murder in 2013, and 80 percent reported zero incidents of arson. Overall, 33 of the 50 cities had fewer than 10 violent crimes in 2013.

Robust crime prevention programs and strong ties between law enforcement and the community are hallmarks that make these 50 safe cities stand out. Whether Illinois is your current home or you’re looking into relocating, take a thorough look at the types of safety initiatives that help residents feel safe and secure in the cities that made our list.

Safety is a priority no matter where you live. Learn more about keeping your home and loved ones protected by consulting our Illinois Safety Directory.

1. Hawthorn Woods

Just 40 miles from downtown Chicago, the Village of Hawthorn Woods offers world-class golfing and a proactive police force that helps residents learn how to protect themselves. This police force regularly holds Women’s Self Defense classes in the Village Barn for women ages 17 and up. Classes focus on defense against the most common types of attacks women face.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.12
Property Crimes per 1,000: 2.45

hawthorn woods is the safest city in Illinois

2. Inverness

Safety isn’t left to chance in this village that still exudes the rural charm that attracted early settlers. All residents with landline phones are automatically enrolled in the city’s Resident Notification System. Residents with any other phone numbers, including work numbers and cellphones, can register as well. In the event of an emergency, all registered numbers automatically receive a voice mail or text message that informs residents about the incident and what they should do.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.13
Property Crimes per 1,000: 3.19

3. Lindenhurst

Lindenhurst prides itself on its spirit of volunteerism, and everyone has a part to play when it comes to keeping citizens safe. The police department’s Summer Safety Observation Bicycle Program gives citizens a chance to notice and reward safe behavior. Businesses pitch in to buy safety helmets, and children who exhibit safe cycling practices receive a treat voucher from a local ice cream shop.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.27
Property Crimes per 1,000: 3.31

lindernhurst is the second safest city in Illinois

4. Lake in the Hills

Thanks to the Safety Education Center, residents of Lake in the Hills learn how to enjoy the city’s various lakes and beaches safely. The center offers Safety Town and Safety Camp programs each summer. Children learn about safety issues such as stranger danger, household safety, fire safety, and water safety.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.51
Property Crimes per 1,000: 3.19

lake in the hills is one of illinois safest cities

5. Monticello

A state-of-the-art emergency preparedness and notification system keeps Monticello residents in the know — no matter what happens. CivicReady quickly alerts citizens before, during, and after an emergency via emails, text messages, phone calls, and social media platforms.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.28
Property Crimes per 1,000: 2.75

Safest cities in Illinois
Image: Dual Freq; Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

6. Campton Hills

The Campton Hills Police Department works to protect and serve residents both on the city streets and inside their homes. The Community Crisis Center Domestic Violence Program offers robust resources to victims of domestic violence. The center is open 24/7 and provides safe, confidential help, including temporary housing.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.00
Property Crimes per 1,000: 4.14

7. Winfield

Home to one of the oldest taverns in the Chicago area, Winfield is rich in history — but the city’s approach to safety embraces today’s technology. Smart911 allows residents to pre-register crucial information about their home, pets, and vehicles that will automatically be available to emergency personnel if those residents dial 911.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.21
Property Crimes per 1,000: 4.41

Safest cities in Illinois
Image: Kingkevy; CC BY-SA 3.0

8. Charleston

The fire department works diligently to preserve Charleston’s bucolic charm. Thanks to the Knox Rapid Entry System, firefighters can gain easy access during an emergency without having to break down doors or gates. Knox Boxes are high-security lock boxes mounted near entrances that hold keys and access cards to let emergency personnel in without delay.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.00
Property Crimes per 1,000: 4.01

Safest cities in Illinois
Image: jrmyers; CC BY-SA 3.0

9. Spring Grove

Spring Grove police officers deliver more than emergency services during a crisis. The R.E.A.C.H. a Child program helps officers comfort and distract children by providing children’s books that officers can give away to children in need. Officers build trust by attending to the well-being of youngsters caught in tough circumstances.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.17
Property Crimes per 1,000: 5.21

10. Manhattan

Manhattan boasts a strong Irish and German heritage, and safety is important to preserving that history for future generations. Programs like Seat Check Saturday help law enforcement officers look after the youngest members of the community. Officers provide free car seat checks along with tips for selecting the right car seat to match a child’s age and size.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.41
Property Crimes per 1,000: 5.17

Learn more about how we rank our Safest Cities reports. ——————————————————————————————————

11. Willow Springs

The police and fire departments in Willow Springs join forces to educate and inspire citizens about safety during their annual Public Safety Open House. Residents young and old get to inspect emergency vehicles, learn about fire and personal safety, and see demos by the S.W.A.T., Emergency Rescue Team, and K-9 unit.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.70
Property Crimes per 1,000: 4.90

12. Beardstown

Civic duty has always been important to the city that hosted the famous debate between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. Today, Beardstown residents rest easy knowing that the police department continues Lincoln’s dedication to public service. The city’s officers look out for citizens even when they’re out of town. The department performs security checks for traveling residents as part of the House Watch program.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.35
Property Crimes per 1,000: 4.55

13. Village of Mt. Zion

The Village of Mt. Zion is an idyllic community with reliable and involved law enforcement officers dedicated to upholding the law with the highest ethical standards. The department provides an array of services to keep Mt. Zion streets safe, including traffic enforcement, bike patrols, and neighborhood watch programs.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.01
Property Crimes per 1,000: 5.09

14. North Chicago

Home to the only training command for United States Navy recruits, North Chicago police have protect thousands of visitors each year, in addition to local residents. This proud community helps their men and women in blue through Lake County Crime Stoppers. The program provides an anonymous tip line and participates in anti-drug and gun-safety education.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.01
Property Crimes per 1,000: 4.13

15. La Grange Park

Citizens help keep streets safe in La Grange Park by monitoring speed limits in residential neighborhoods. The Citizen-Assisted Radar Effort (CARE) provides volunteers with training and access to radar guns to help identify and discourage speeding. Volunteers report offenders to the police department, which follows up by sending violators a warning.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.07
Property Crimes per 1,000: 6.22

16. Hampshire

Hampshire participates in the Nixle program, which keeps residents connected to important news about safety and emergencies. Residents who register for the program receive texts and emails directly from the Hampshire Police Department in the event of an emergency. Messages alert citizens and provide directions about what they can do to stay safe and offer assistance to others.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.88
Property Crimes per 1,000: 5.49

17. Pinckneyville

The Pinckneyville Police Department makes it simple for citizens to assist in the fight against crime. The Community Tip Line provides an easy, confidential way for citizens to report any suspicious behavior they observe. Residents are encouraged to share information about criminal activities, especially those that involve weapons or drugs.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.14
Property Crimes per 1,000: 4.29

Safest cities in Illinois
Image: Nyttend; Public Domain

18. Gilberts

Fertile farmlands attracted pioneers and helped Gilberts prosper during the nineteenth century. Today, programs like Safe Haven ensure that Gilberts and its residents continue to flourish. Safe Haven allows parents in crisis to place a newborn baby with staff at any police station, fire station, hospital, or emergency medical facility with no questions asked.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.13
Property Crimes per 1,000: 6.41

19. Channahon

Channahon’s Peer Jury program is an alternative to court and jail for youth who end up on the wrong side of the law. Juveniles who participate in the Peer Jury can make restitution to victims and the community without receiving a criminal charge on their record or spending time in a correctional facility. The program focuses on accountability and making changes to become a productive member of society.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.00
Property Crimes per 1,000: 6.58

20. Chester

Residing in the home of Popeye, Chester citizens don’t need a can of spinach to thwart the bad guys. A robust Neighborhood Watch Program strengthens community ties and helps citizens work together to stop crimes before they happen. Regular patrols and reports of suspicious behavior help neighbors look out for one another and discourage criminal activity.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.65
Property Crimes per 1,000: 4.97

Safest cities in Illinois
Image: Leonard J. DeFrancisci; Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

21. Glen Carbon

Glen Carbon is proud of its strong community spirit. The Volunteers in Policing (V.I.P.) program utilizes citizen volunteers to assist with regular police department operations. Volunteers help out at community events like the annual Rabies Clinic or offer their assistance with administrative duties at the police station.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.85
Property Crimes per 1,000: 5.88

22. Pingree Grove

This responsible city is famous for its commitment to the environment, but Pingree Grove goes above and beyond to protect both human and natural resources. The police department’s efforts to educate the community on traffic safety led them to take first place in the Illinois Traffic Safety Challenge. The award included a new LIDAR Speed Measurement Device to help officers monitor and enforce safe speed limits.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.39
Property Crimes per 1,000: 6.36

Safest cities in Illinois
Image: Jonoloier; Public Domain

23. Bartlett

In the village of Bartlett, community watch programs aren’t limited to residential neighborhoods. Fleet Watch is a “neighborhood watch on wheels” program that enlists the help of local businesses to keep an eye out for criminal activity as their employees drive the city streets each day. Participating vehicles carry special bumper stickers, and drivers receive training to call in “look-out alerts” whenever they spot suspicious behavior.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.43
Property Crimes per 1,000: 6.46

Safest cities in Illinois
Image: ThisOrdinaryGuy; CC0

24. Clarendon Hills

Clarendon Hills police support the city’s rich quality of life through proactive drug awareness and disposal programs. Police encourage residents to bring any unused medications to the station for safe disposal. Anyone who brings drugs to the police can do so confidentially with no questions asked.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.00
Property Crimes per 1,000: 7.08

25. Lakemoor

Situated along glacial Lily Lake, this friendly community is on a mission to minimize car-related injuries and deaths. The Red Light Camera Operation focuses on getting drivers to “Be Safe: Stop on Red.” Intersection cameras capture drivers who fail to stop at red lights and use the images to issue citations.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.16
Property Crimes per 1,000: 6.94

26. Huntley

A specialized drug awareness program, L.E.A.D. the Way, arms Huntley fifth-graders with tools and strategies to deal with the challenges of middle school effectively. The program uses a combination of discussion, group activities, and personal reflection to instill self-confidence and sound decision-making skills.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.16
Property Crimes per 1,000: 7.48

27. Elburn

Elburn residents can get up close and personal with local law enforcement through the Ride-Along Program. The program allows approved citizens to ride with officers in a patrol car as the officers go about their daily business. Safety is a prime consideration, so citizens do not accompany officers during high-risk incidents.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.35
Property Crimes per 1,000: 7.38

28. Homer Glen

The Homer Glen Emergency Management Agency is ready to respond to any emergency or natural disaster. The agency provides training for citizens and collects resources for use during response and recovery efforts. Residents can attend classes or volunteer with the agency.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.20
Property Crimes per 1,000: 7.54

29. Cary

More data helps emergency personnel in Cary serve residents with special needs quickly. The Premise Alert Program provides police, EMS, and fire personnel with vital information that increases response time and effectiveness. Information includes the nature of the individual’s disability or limitation, contact information, medical history, and any medications or oxygen canisters the individual may need.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.60
Property Crimes per 1,000: 7.24

Learn more about how we rank our Safest Cities reports. ——————————————————————————————————

30. Mascoutah

Residents enjoy the abundant outdoor amenities in Mascoutah and value the peace of mind that comes with the city’s emergency notification system. Mascoutah participates in CODE RED, a national service that helps emergency services like police and fire departments alert residents in the event of an emergency. All residents have to do to stay informed is sign up online for text or email notifications.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.62
Property Crimes per 1,000: 7.28

Safest cities in Illinois
Image: Liftarn; Public Domain

31. Glencoe

This quaint North Shore community utilizes a Community Notification System to help keep residents safe. Participating citizens receive messages from the Public Safety Department about everything from traffic problems to missing child alerts and evacuation notices.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.00
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.14

32. Buffalo Grove

A 2014 Citizen Survey revealed that 96.5 percent of Buffalo Grove residents feel safe in their home or business. Efforts like Operation Identification are part of the reason citizens feel so secure in this northern Chicago suburb. This citizens’ burglary prevention program helps property owners engrave valuables to make them easier to identify and recover if stolen.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.19
Property Crimes per 1,000: 7.97

33. La Grange

The La Grange Police Department invites residents to “go behind the scenes” by joining the Citizen’s Police Academy. Closer community ties and increased crime prevention awareness are the goals of the program, which gives participants an inside look at the police department’s daily operations.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.95
Property Crimes per 1,000: 7.57

Safest cities in Illinois
Image: MrHarman; Attribution 3.0 Unported

34. Lincolnshire

Award-winning schools and an impressive safety record are two reasons Movoto and Niche recognized Lincolnshire as one of the best Chicago suburbs. The city’s assertive Crime Prevention Unit provides comprehensive services, including up-to-date information about identify theft, drug intervention programs for teens, and residential security checks for at-risk or absent homeowners.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.55
Property Crimes per 1,000: 7.97

Safest cities in Illinois
Image: Racaris; Public Domain

35. Lake Villa

Community policing is one reason Lake Villa residents sleep well at night. This program pairs a police officer with each neighborhood or business district in the city. The officer works as a liaison between the community members and the police department. This strong connection helps build trust and makes it easier for officers to recognize if something seems suspicious.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.68
Property Crimes per 1,000: 7.95

36. Mahomet

Mahomet residents have nothing to worry about when they go on vacation because the Mahomet Police Department will keep an eye on their home or business while they’re out of town. Vacation Watch provides peace of mind to homeowners who request security checks when they have to leave their homes vacant.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.31
Property Crimes per 1,000: 7.38

Safest cities in Illinois
Image: Dual Freq; Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

37. Wheaton

Wheaton evokes a small-town feeling with initiatives like the Sheriff’s Guardian Program. This system helps the sheriff’s office make regular welfare calls to elderly and disabled residents. If an individual does not respond to the welfare call, the police dispatcher sends an officer to the home.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.59
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.48

Safest cities in Illinois
Image: Niagara; Attribution 2.0 Generic

38. Island Lake

Touted as a “community of friendly people,” Island Lake takes emergency management seriously. To make sure no resident is left in the dark, the Emergency Management Agency installed several outdoor warning sirens. If the sirens go off, residents know it’s time to seek shelter immediately.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.74
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.34

39. Justice

It’s no surprise that a city with a name like Justice would be committed to law and order. This city of 13,000 saw just 10 reports of violent crime in 2013, and there were zero counts of murder or rape. The Justice Police Department works diligently to keep its residents safe, whether it’s issuing warnings about coyote dangers or offering free child safety seat inspections.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.76
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.50

40. Wauconda

The Wauconda Police Department’s Marine Patrol Unit keeps residents safe on land and water. The unit monitors activity on Bangs Lake, which offers 309 acres of water for boating, fishing, and swimming. In addition to enforcing fishing and boating regulations, the Marine Patrol Unit conducts safety inspections and maintains the lake’s recreational buoys.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.29
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.99

41. Hanover Park

As part of its community outreach program, Police and Citizens Connected, Hanover Park makes sure its residents are aware of criminal activity in their city. An online public crime map helps residents track and analyze data about criminal activity and offers an opportunity for citizens to provide tips about events they may witness.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.96
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.36

42. Wilmington

Wilmington police use every tool at their disposal to protect and serve their constituents, even social media. The department uses its Facebook page as a communications center to alert citizens to potential dangers, remind them of smart safety practices, and help lost pets reunite with their families.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.87
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.53

43. Northfield

Fire safety is front and center in this Chicago suburb that is home to Kraft Foods — especially during Fire Prevention Week. The Fire-Rescue Department sponsors this annual event and focuses on education, highlighting a different safety practice each year. In 2015, they are emphasizing smoke alarm care and maintenance.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.36
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.11

44. Mundelein

Mundelein officers recognize that their duties extend beyond catching the bad guys. Victim care is a crucial part of how the Mundelein Police Department protects and serves. Their efforts received national attention, leading the department to be chosen as one of three agencies across the country to participate as a pilot site in a national program to enhance response to crime victims.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.51
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.98

45. Worth

Known as “the friendly village,” Worth looks after every citizen. To better serve at-risk members of the community, the Worth Police Department developed an Autism program. The program gathers information and photographs from family members to identify and serve those with autism who may be likely to wander or become disoriented.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.73
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.84

46. Hinsdale

Hinsdale police officers created the You Are Not Alone (YANA) program to provide regular welfare checks to senior citizens who live alone. The department’s Crime Prevention Officer oversees YANA, and officers staff the program, volunteering their time to provide extra care to this segment of the Hinsdale community.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.11
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.58

47. Palos Hills

Safe driving is important to those who call this Chicago suburb home. The city implemented the Red Light Photo Enforcement program to reduce accidents caused by drivers running red lights. Over the first 36 months, Palos Hills saw a 46 percent decrease in red light-related accidents.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.73
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.01

48. Mokena

The Village of Mokena uses an e-news alert system to inform residents about important city news, including emergency information, weather alerts, and updates about construction zones and traffic accidents. Residents can sign up for the system and select the types of alerts they want to receive.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.52
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.34

49. Genoa

Genoa law enforcement counts on citizens to get involved with community safety. The Citizens for Safe Speed program partners with residents to monitor speeding in neighborhoods. The police equip citizen volunteers with radar units that record motorist speeds in order to identify dangerous drivers and optimum times for extra speed enforcement in different areas.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.15
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.67

50. Troy

The Troy Police Department works to protect the future of this former stagecoach stop with a vigorous D.A.R.E. program that has educated Troy sixth-graders for a quarter of a century. Through a series of 10 lessons that focus on issues like self-esteem and the dangers of drugs, Troy police officers help children learn how to say “no” and focus on living a drug-free life.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.40
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.43

Safest cities in Illinois
Image: Nyttend; Public Domain

Whether your town made the cut or not, there’s plenty you can do to help keep your family and property safe. If you’re considering a home security system, there’s no time like the present to take a closer look. You will be able to breathe more easily knowing you have done everything you can to protect your home, even when you can’t be there.

Learn more about how we rank our Safest Cities reports. ——————————————————————————————————

How safe is your home?

Wherever you live, feeling safe in your home can bring greater peace of mind and happiness. Whether your city made our list or not, we recommend adding extra security to your home with monitored security services provided by the nation’s leading home security providers.

To learn more about the home security options available to you in your area, select the city nearest you in the drop down menu below.

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