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The 10 Safest Cities in Montana – 2017

Based on the most recent FBI Crime Report, Montana’s statewide crime rate increased slightly from 2014 to 2015, but several cities on our list—including East Helena, Dillon, and Glasgow—lowered their crime rates over this period.

Taking a closer look at the FBI data, we learned that the occurrence of violent crime was especially low among Montana’s ten safest cities. These cities reported fewer than two violent crimes per 1,000 people, whereas nearly four violent crimes were reported for every 1,000 people nationally. While even one crime is too many, SafeWise is impressed that the state’s ten safest cities experienced a total of just eighty-seven violent crimes. In addition, 50% of the cities on our list cited zero incidents of murder, rape, or robbery.

Miles City, by far the largest of the state’s safest cities, reported only twelve violent crimes. In an interview with SafeWise, Miles City’s chief of police, Doug Colombik, explained that he thinks the city’s violent crime rate is exceptionally low because the “officers engage with the community on several levels, starting in the schools—this fosters mutual respect and trust generation after generation—and that goes a long way toward fighting crime.” He added, “we also benefit from the fact that our citizens look out for one another, take pride in their community, and alert us to potential problems right away.”

Residents of the top-ten safest cities in Montana do a stellar job of keeping violent crime under control, and they show a similar commitment to keeping property safe. Altogether, the cities on our list reported a mere sixty burglaries, with seven cities reporting fewer than ten burglaries, and two cities—Colstrip and East Helena—reporting no break-ins at all.

From the Rocky Mountains to the Great Plains, the safest cities in Big Sky Country are spread across the state. Find out more about the cities that made our list, then review our helpful Montana Safety Directory. In addition to crime prevention tips and other safety and security information, you’ll find a color-coded map highlighting the most and least burglarized counties in the state.

How We Chose the Safest Cities in Montana

To identify the safest cities in Montana, we reviewed the most recent FBI Crime Report statistics from 2015, along with population data. We eliminated all cities with fewer than 2,000 residents as well as any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI.

If your city made the list, share the news by embedding the “Montana Safest Cities” badge on your site. Click here to get the code, then just copy and paste.

From there, we evaluated the remaining cities. 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.

Learn more about how we rank our Safest Cities reports.

1. Colstrip

Previous rank: 1

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.43
Property Crimes per 1,000: 5.56

2. East Helena 

Previous rank: 3

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.97
Property Crimes per 1,000: 5.31

3. Dillon 

Previous rank: 4

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.41
Property Crimes per 1,000: 5.42

4. Conrad 

Previous rank: 11

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.30
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.50 

5. Glasgow 

Previous rank: 8

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.17
Property Crimes per 1,000: 16.11

6. Columbus

Previous rank: 6

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.99
Property Crimes per 1,000: 16.33

7. Sidney 

Previous rank: 5

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 5.43
Property Crimes per 1,000: 15.40 

8. Miles City 

Previous rank: 12

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.36
Property Crimes per 1,000: 23.16

9. Laurel 

Previous rank: 10

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.86
Property Crimes per 1,000: 24.18

10. Red Lodge 

Previous rank: 9

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.79
Property Crimes per 1,000: 24.59

Didn’t see your city rank in the top 10?

Check the remaining cities below, and take a look at the most recent FBI crime data here.

11. Lewistown 12. Belgrade 13. Bozeman
14. Columbia Falls 15. Cut Bank 16. Glendive
17. Whitefish 18. Livingston 19. Wolf Point
20. Deer Lodge 21. Hamilton 22. Libby
23. Havre 24. Great Falls 25. Helena
26. Missoula 27. Billings 28. Kalispell
29. Polson

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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If you would like to contact a SafeWise Safest Cities Analyst, please email safestcities@safewise.com.

Alexia Chianis

Find out more about Alexia, here.

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