100 Safest Cities in America 2017
See how your city ranks for safety compared to the rest of the nation.
Our SafeWise team analyzed FBI crime statistics from all fifty states and researched each city's public safety, public health, and educational offerings to determine 2017’s 100 Safest Cities in America.
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Lewisboro, New York
The nearly 13,000 people in Lewisboro, New York, may sleep soundly for the second year in a row because this town has once again been named the number one Safest City in America! In 2016, there were only two crimes reported in Lewisboro—and none of them were violent crimes, assaults, or burglaries. This rings true for 2017, too. Keep up the good work, Lewisboro. We love public safety initiatives like the Are You Okay campaign, which provides daily phone calls to older adults who live alone. These programs help make Lewisboro the Safest City in America.
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
About twenty-five miles outside of Knoxville sits 2017’s second Safest City in America: Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The town’s almost 30,000 people support the Not In Our City campaign that encourages collaborative Neighborhood Watch groups, publishes monthly lists of the five most-improved properties and five that need the most work, and provides a place for the community to review new police initiatives and other safety news in the town. There’s no doubt these programs contribute to why the town reported only seven total crimes in 2015. We hope to see even fewer this year!
Wayland, Massachusetts, is a familiar face on our 100 Safest Cities in America list. In 2016, Wayland was the second-safest city in the nation, and its nearly 14,000 residents should still be proud of its top-five status. Besides favorable data that reflects very low violent and property crime in Wayland—the city had only six incidents in 2015—the proactive program WaylandCares keeps youth away from substance abuse to prevent public safety problems. The group is active in the local middle and high schools and often brings in speakers to address other issues that pose risks to teens, like internet safety.
Welcome to the list, Shoreview, Minnesota! In 2015, the city exemplified safety through its low property and violent crime statistics and local initiatives like the Citizens’ Leadership Academy (CLA). This free program allows residents to learn how the city operates holistically—from clean water programs to trash cleanup to 911 services—so they can get involved and increase their awareness of how the town runs. Shoreview also has an annual Night to Unite event that unites neighborhoods and educates the community to help keep it safe. It’s fantastic to see that Shoreview’s education initiatives have paid off.
Washington Township, New Jersey
Washington Township, New Jersey, is back in the top ten for its second year in a row. Last year, we were wowed by its flourishing community garden program, but this time around the city has gone even further. We’re pleased to see Washington Township’s efforts to keep the community happy and healthy through initiatives like its free eye and blood pressure screenings for residents with diabetes. The city also offers a Community Night Out. Local organizations come together and put on the event, free of charge, for the residents.
Weston has climbed the ranks from its spot at number fifteen in last year’s Safest Cities in America to number six! We’re happy to see no reported violent crimes this year, and proactive safety programs like Weston’s CodeRED emergency notification system—which sends alerts to residents in case of severe weather or local crime—have probably helped. It’s also positive to see how Weston has adapted to its environment on so many levels. Because Weston is so wooded, the police department received a forestry grant to buy off-road utility vehicles and specially outfitted SUVs to reach people in all sorts of terrain, so help is never far away.
This Boston suburb is up from its spot as number twenty last year and has made the top ten Safest Cities in America for good reason. While the police cut down on crime, the townsfolk volunteer for the Weston Emergency Reserve Corps to help during emergencies. This program comes with free training on emergency management, response plans, personal safety, and sheltering to provide useful safety education to Weston’s residents. Due to Weston’s proximity to busy Boston, safety measures like these ensure the town is secure if anything ever happens in Beantown.
River Vale, New Jersey
River Vale is fondly called the "Garden Spot" of the Pascack Valley, so it’s no surprise that it has come out smelling like a rose on our 100 Safest Cities in America list. With no violent crimes reported in 2015, the town provides a haven for residents and remains a healthy place to live thanks to programs like the River Vale Mayors Wellness Campaign. This free service combats obesity by encouraging companies and the community to exercise and practice healthy eating. Health is a part of overall resident safety and security, so it’s awesome to see River Vale take this holistic approach.
White Bear Township, Minnesota
In White Bear Township, the police protect the residents, and the people preserve the environment. One standout program belongs to the sanitation department: it supports free organic waste drop-offs and composting to keep landfills emptier and local farmland more fertile. In the spirit of letting nothing go to waste, the town also has free Fix-It Clinics to help residents mend small appliances so it can reduce the amount of unnecessary waste added to the dump. Protecting the local environment secures the future for everyone, so job well done to White Bear Township for doing its part.
South Park Township, Pennsylvania
South Park Township is back again on our 100 Safest Cities in America list—up two spots from its number twelve rank in 2016. The more than 13,000 residents who live here enjoy low crime rates, thanks to the support of local police. Whenever citizens leave town for vacation or work, they can alert police officers to keep an eye on their homes. This is likely part of the reason there were just thirty-five property crimes in 2015, so we’re glad to see this safety protocol.
Settled in 1669, Norfolk, Massachusetts, has been going strong for nearly 350 years; it’s also done well in SafeWise’s Safest Cities rankings, having been named the third Safest City in America in 2016 and the seventh-safest city in 2015! The police, especially County Sheriff Michael Bellotti, have done a spectacular job keeping the town safe. Sheriff Bellotti implemented Project Lifesaver, a program that includes more than 125 citizens with diseases and disabilities that make them prone to wandering. The town distributes LoJack SafetyNet bracelets to participants to make sure the volunteer search-and-rescue team is able to find them right away if they get lost. Bravo for taking such great care of every citizen and ensuring citywide safety!
Waterloo values public safety and community. On the public-safety side, the city has Ayla, the canine police dog who helps cut down on illegal drug use and sales. Waterloo police also partner with the Violence Prevention Center and the Monroe County Court Advocate to help victims of domestic violence stay out of harm’s way. On the community side, Waterloo’s quarterly Good Neighbor Award recognizes someone in the community who has done an outstanding deed. Each recipient is awarded a certificate and gift card to celebrate the occasion.
Rye, New York
Rye, New York, is back on our list for the second year in a row and up six spots from its nineteenth spot in 2016. As the first settlement in Westchester county, Rye originated as a cattle and farming town, so it’s nice to see it’s still calm and peaceful in this modern age. Besides great police work that cuts down on crime, Rye has a Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Committee to improve safety features in the community and educate the public to avoid accidents. Crime isn’t the only thing that endangers communities, so we’re glad to see Rye takes other public safety issues seriously, too.
Sidled up to the Long Island Sound, Madison, Connecticut, serves as a boat-lover’s paradise—and a place where its residents feel safe. Because the town is right on the water, local government provides emergency plans for hurricanes and severe weather as well as an email sign-up for real-time alerts. The city also shows its smart, proactive thinking with groups like M.A.D.E. in Madison (Madison Alcohol and Drug Education). This group works with teens on topics including substance abuse, drug and alcohol awareness, and stress management. We’re happy Madison works so hard to raise strong generations and keep its town safe and secure.
Hopkinton celebrated its 300th anniversary in 2015, and now it has something else to laud: its status as the fifteenth Safest City in America! Although Hopkinton is only thirty miles from Boston, this city is a tranquil, safe community—thanks in part to programs spearheaded by Police Chief Lee. One program of note is the safe exchange zone, where people can drop off or pick up goods purchased online at a secure location in front of the police station. Another is the Person at Risk program, which makes police aware of people in the community who are more prone to wandering away. If anyone on this list goes missing, they can be quickly located and safely brought home.
Western Springs, Illinois
This suburb of Chicago maintains its spot at number sixteen for the second year in a row, and it brings more fantastic safety news for its community. Western Springs has a no-soliciting program where you can get free stickers that tell strangers to stay away from your home—and your family. The police enforce this program with set soliciting hours to protect citizens. Western Springs also enriches the community with its Fair Elms Community Garden. Because the town has so many great parks and outdoor spaces, we’re glad it’s stayed safe enough for the townsfolk to enjoy all the city has to offer.
New Castle Town, New York
Founded in 1791, New Castle, New York, has made news for being home to the Clintons, but now it’s making headlines for its own achievements: its place as the seventeenth Safest City in America. With less than sixty reported violent and property crimes in 2015, people remain free to enjoy all there is to offer in town, like vibrant Downtown Chappaqua Hamlet, which is even more beautiful today thanks to the revitalization project. Among some of the improvements are a more walkable infrastructure to encourage exercise and keep pedestrians safe, preserved green spaces for a healthier environment, and historic buildings to maintain the charm and character of this historic town.
Vadnais Heights, Minnesota
The serene town of Vadnais Heights, Minnesota, protects its 13,000 people in a number of ways. For one, the police work hard to keep violent and property crimes to a minimum. The town also partners with the American Red Cross to promote fire safety in homes by installing free smoke detectors and assisting in the development of emergency escape plans. But the town doesn’t just stop at protecting its people: it’s invested in the environment, too. Because Vadnais Heights is in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, the city distributes free measuring cups to residents to help keep rock salt application to a minimum during icy months and preserve the health of nearby waters and wetlands from the corrosive de-icer.
In 2016, this city was number twenty-three on our Safest Cities in America ranking, so it’s moving up! This year, its almost 14,000 citizens can be proud once more for the city’s extremely low crime rates—especially violent crimes, of which it had only three. This beautiful New England town has more to celebrate, too, with programs like Meals on Wheels, which doesn’t just deliver food to those in need, but also delivers books. This is all thanks to the Bigelow Public Library that advocates for people stuck at home due to illness or mobility. Congratulations, Clinton, for all your outstanding work enriching the lives of your residents and keeping them safe.
Oakland Township, Michigan
The police department of Oakland Township, Michigan, isn’t the only group with bragging rights for its success keeping the community safe. Fire Prevention Coordinator, Andrew Linn, also contributes to the overall safety of residents by teaching more than 1,000 students about fire safety annually. Oakland Township’s Safety Paths and Trails Committee (SPTC) deserves a pat on the back, too, because of its work to provide better paths, pedestrian safety, and signage so people can get out, lead healthier lives, and stay safe.
Bernards Township, New Jersey
Bernards Township has made leaps and bounds in safety since 2016, up from its seventy-eighth spot on our Safest Cities in America list last year. We’re impressed once again by the local police force as well as groups like the environmental Green Team and the Shade Tree Commission. After Hurricane Sandy destroyed 15,000 trees in Bernards Township, the Shade Tree Commission kicked off a program to restore its local flora—encouraging every resident to plant five trees in their yard. It’s clear that Bernards Township doesn’t care only about its crime rates, but also the environmental health and wellness of its town.
The gorgeous Imperial, California, is known for its wildlife, variety of birds, pristine sand dunes—and now its recognized for its low crime. In 2015, Imperial reported fifty-four property crimes, but it’s striving for less with its Graffiti Abatement Program. If residents fall victim to vandalism or discover graffiti, they may ask the city for free paint to cover it up. The town even provides custom color matching for homes and businesses. It’s great to see the success of a city so committed to preserving its beauty and peace.
Penn Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania
The days of violence and turmoil in Penn Township fizzled after the Battle of Bushy Run in 1763. Today, its nearly 20,000 residents enjoy peaceful, bucolic landscapes, thanks to the active police force. During the holidays, the Penn Township Police Department runs Shop with a Cop, a program that gives back to families in need as well as improves public perception of police in the city. We applaud these police officers for doing such a great job reinforcing community strength, looking out for every member of the town, and keeping people safe.
Ever since Dover, Ohio, earned a railroad stop in 1854, the town has been making history. It was the tenth Safest City in Ohio last year, and it is the safest city in the state this year. So, whether it’s the famous 100-year rivalry between the Dover High School Tornadoes and the New Philadelphia Quakers or Dover’s streak as one of the safest places to live, this city is making the history books.
Lower Salford Township, Pennsylvania
Lower Salford Township, Pennsylvania, is moving on up—to the twenty-fifth Safest City in America—from its forty-ninth spot in 2016. Surely its well-established safety commissions and decade-long partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) have something to do with that. Since 2005, Lower Salford Township has been taking steps to prevent stormwater pollution by encouraging townsfolk to reduce salt use in winter, pick up pet waste, and start rain gardens to naturally sift pollutants from water. Hats off to you, Lower Salford Township, for doing all you can to preserve and protect your city.
Grosse Ile Township, Michigan
This island outside of Detroit is one of the Safest Cities in America for the second year running. Because Grosse Ile Township is flanked by rivers and lush landscape, it’s a perfect place for wildlife to live. And thanks to low crime rates, there aren’t many threats beyond the local coyotes. To keep both its human and four-legged residents safe, Grosse Ile Township has an active animal control department that teaches about wildlife safety and best pet practices.
Kinnelon, New Jersey
We’re happy to see Kinnelon back as one of the Safest Cities in America this year and up sixty-two places! We think it’s due in part to the Tri-Boro First Aid Squad, which has been around since the 1930s, and the town’s local police force. KAMELOT is Kinnelon’s Municipal Alliance Group, and it also adds to the overall safety of the town by safeguarding younger generations through education on tobacco, alcohol, drugs, cybercrime, and bullying. This group partners with schools, coaches, businesses, and parents to keep the youth of Kinnelon safe and on a path to success—something we love to see.
Chester Township, Ohio
Chester Township takes safety very seriously: its road safety department owns nearly $1.3 million worth of equipment to maintain the integrity of the city’s roads and keep drivers, bikers, walkers, and joggers out of harm’s way. There weren’t any reported arsons, murders, or rapes in 2015, so this helps make residents more comfortable when getting out and enjoying active lifestyles.
Upper Providence Township, Pennsylvania
Thirty miles outside Philly and about ten miles from the behemoth King of Prussia Mall sits Safest City number thirty-three: Upper Providence Township, Pennsylvania. Here, the entire county works to keep crime rates low by educating and rehabilitating its youngest residents through the Center for Resolutions and its Youth Aid Panels. When first-time juvenile offenders enter the system, a panel of local volunteers intervenes to educate them about how they can avoid getting in trouble in the future. It’s this softer, community-based approach that’s helping the next generation thrive and keeping the town safe.
The around 33,000 people who live in Franklin, Massachusetts, have a lot to brag about. For starters, this city is back for a second year in a row on the 100 Safest Cities in America list! Second, the city reported very low violent crimes in 2015—a great sign of a healthy and safe community. While the police and citizens have crime under control, they’re also combatting another dangerous epidemic: opioid addiction. To combat this statewide issue, the Franklin Police have a drop box for safe medication disposal and carry naloxone—a drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose—with them at all times.
Little Canada, Minnesota
A suburb of the Twin Cities, Little Canada, Minnesota, rests only five miles north of downtown Saint Paul and twelve miles northeast of downtown Minneapolis. With less than forty total violent and property crimes reported in 2015, we’d like to applaud the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office for all its hard work. Not only do the officers work around the clock to keep residents safe from crime, but they also employ preventative measures. One program that caught our eye is the Gun Safety Initiative. The Attorney’s Office and Sheriff’s Office work together to give out free cable-style gun locks, and they also feature online how-to videos to show citizens how to lock different guns and responsibly store their firearms.
Bay Village, Ohio
Bay Village brings a lot to the table for its 15,387 residents—whether they love to sail on Lake Erie, ride roller coasters at nearby Cedar Point, or check out a Browns game in urban Cleveland. As far as safety goes, Bay Village, Ohio, offers peace of mind, too. Aside from a Do Not Knock registry that keeps strangers from soliciting homes, the city has a bank of medical equipment like wheelchairs and walkers that people can borrow at no charge while they recuperate from surgery. It’s this care and attention that truly make Bay Village one of the safest and greatest places to live in America.
Clinton Township, New Jersey
Clinton Township, New Jersey, is a sight to behold with its gorgeous farmland and tree-lined reservoirs. But it wouldn’t be that way without caring citizens and programs like Clinton Township’s Organic Community Garden. Since the garden’s start in 2012, the town has grown 100%-organic fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs for residents—teaching the next generation about responsible farming and nutrition. We’re glad that the low crime rates in this city allow residents to get out and grow.
Campton Hills, Illinois
Every one of the 11,366 residents in Campton Hills, Illinois, has a say about what happens in the community. The town website has a Community Voice section where anyone can post ideas about community activities, economic development, infrastructure and environmental updates, housing and neighborhood enhancements, and more. It’s no surprise that with such an active and engaged community, Campton Hills appears on our list for the second year in a row!
Kent Town, New York
Kent, New York, is incredibly scenic with its sprawling woods, sparkling lakes, rolling mountains, and variety of wildlife. But since beauty lies on the inside, Kent focuses on strengthening its community from within. The town enhances safety through numerous classes given by the public library, like babysitting courses, new parenting workshops, and more. The Kent Police Department’s free Child Passenger Safety Program also promotes safety by teaching residents about booster seats and car seats. No wonder Kent is the eighth-safest city in New York in addition to this rank!
Hillsdale, New Jersey
Hillsdale is back for another year as one of the safest places to live in America. Thanks to programs like Coffee with a Cop, its police force isn’t just a safety net for the community but also an integral piece of it. The Coffee with a Cop program occurs at local coffee shops and gives residents a chance to interact with officers and voice concerns. In a nation where police-community tensions are bubbling over, it’s fantastic to see a place where its law enforcement works so hard to strengthen its rapport with the community while keeping the peace.
Buckingham Township, Pennsylvania
Welcome back to the Safest Cities in America list, Buckingham Township! This year, we’re impressed by your commitment to firearm safety. Thanks to an initiative led by Lieutenant John Landis and the Buckingham Township Police, residents can bring home free firearm safety kits to securely and responsibly store their guns. While violent crimes are low in this city, we’re happy to see that Buckingham Township doesn’t disregard any risks.
Trophy Club, Texas
This city is aptly named, because it has a shiny new trophy to add to its collection: the title of the thirty-eighth Safest City in America! Trophy Club also has a program in place to give praise where praise is due. The annual Turn Trophy Club BLUE event recognizes first responders for their hard work by encouraging community members to place blue lightbulbs or flameless candles in outdoor fixtures and windows. Police and first responders often risk their lives to keep people safe, so it’s wonderful to see appreciation for their service.
Sudbury, Massachusetts, is back in the top fifty Safest Cities in America for the second year in a row. While the town had one of the biggest militias during King Phillip’s War and fought redcoats during the Revolutionary War, it reports very low violent and property crime rates today. To ensure that Sudbury remains safe, the town has places like the Teen Center, which gives adolescents a fun, safe, and supervised environment to hang out on Friday nights.
Whitehall rose from a small farming town to become a booming manufacturing city. Now it’s back again on the 100 Safest Cities in America list—due in large part to the local police department. It’s apparent how much these officers care about resident safety because of the resources on the city’s website: they provide recommendations for deadbolts, tips to avoid fraud and burglary, and more.
Norton, Massachusetts, has climbed the safety ranks from its sixtieth spot in 2016. But just because the town has low crime doesn’t mean it lets its guard down. Norton has a Community Emergency Response Team and well thought-out emergency plans so residents can read up on how to make emergency kits and where to go in case of a natural disaster. Preparing for the worst while hoping for the best keeps the people of Norton safe and sound.
Chatham Township, New Jersey
The people of Chatham Township, New Jersey, have helped make their city one of the safest in America for the second year in a row. In fact, one of the peskiest problems for the residents isn’t criminals, but rather their black bear neighbors. To make sure everyone lives in harmony, the Chatham Township Board of Health educates about proper black bear protocol to keep residents—and bears—safe. Plus, it regularly updates its website with information about local virus outbreaks and preventative health tips, like vaccinations schedules and recommendations to keep people in ship shape.
Floral Park Village, New York
People who live in Floral Park Village, New York, may see through rose-colored glasses, but that’s because it’s been one of the Safest Cities in America for two years in a row! Named by town founder and flower business professional, John Lewis Childs, every street has a name inspired by a flower or tree. And since it’s such a beautiful place, Mayor Tweedy and the Board of Trustees run a free e-waste collection program to encourage environmental friendliness and responsible electronic waste disposal.
Colts Neck Township, New Jersey
The mansions and fields of horses that dot Colts Neck Township provide a beautiful backdrop for the townspeople—and so does the city’s low crime rate. In 2015, no rapes, murders, or robberies were reported, but if there is trouble in town, the nonprofit Colts Neck First Aid Squad is there to help. This volunteer squad is always ready to jump when people need help, and thanks to the engaged community that sees the importance of the Squad and local safety, it receives enough donations to stay active.
Warren Township, New Jersey
This city was named after General Joseph Warren, a hero of the Battle of Bunker Hill during the American Revolution. Today, he’d be proud to see that Warren Township, New Jersey, still works hard to defend its people from threats and crime. For the second year in a row, this city has made it on SafeWise’s top fifty Safest Cities in America, and it also has been touted as the Best Place to Live in Central New Jersey and the second best in the entire state. Here’s to a much longer legacy of safety, bravery, and security for everyone in this township.
Monroe Township, Middlesex County, New Jersey
Congrats, Monroe Township: your city has moved up fifteen spots from last year in the Safest Cities in America ranking! Even though this city sits near Manhattan, it has remained a serene and safe respite for residents. While police combat crime, the Monroe Health Department works to keep people healthy by training more than 2,850 students a year in everything from CPR to basic first aid to disaster preparedness. Safety on all fronts makes for a thriving city, so these initiatives make us smile.
The coastal town of Duxbury is irrefutably beautiful, with its white sands, large cranberry bogs, and quaint seaside shops. However, it’s the people of Duxbury who make this town truly lovely. The city offers a Breakfast Club that provides childcare and meals for kids in a safe, supervised, and supportive environment. This way, working parents can support their families while their young children get the nurturing care they need to grow into productive community members.
Franklin Park, Pennsylvania
Franklin Park, Pennsylvania, was the fifty-second safest city in 2016, and now it’s back on the list thanks to its repeat low crime rates. While crime continues to be kept to a minimum, the Franklin Park Police Department’s crime map logs incidents in town so people can see burglaries, vandalisms, thefts, and more crimes—immediately after they happen. Because most of the crimes reported in 2015 affected property (only one violent crime was reported), it makes sense that the town wants to increase security through awareness.
Last year, we were wowed by Wilton’s Citizen Police Academy, but this year Miller-Driscoll School caught our attention because it’s been recognized as a Green LEAF School. This distinction reflects Wilton’s commitment to bring solar and clean energy to the town. In order to achieve this prestigious award, Miller-Driscoll had to demonstrate its efforts to provide environmental and sustainability education, introduce health and wellness initiatives, and reduce its environmental impact. Way to go, Wilton, on your second year as one of the 100 Safest Cities in America and your environmental work that helps the rest of the world.
Harrison Town, New York
People love Harrison, New York, so much that every year they throw an It's Great to Live in Harrison parade. And now that this city is back on the Safest Cities in America list, residents have something else to celebrate this year. When researching this city, we were particularly excited to see Harrison’s Dark House program, which allows residents to alert the police if they’re going out of town so police can keep an eye on the property. Because Harrison didn’t report any robberies and had only four burglaries in 2015, programs like these seem to be working!
Sleepy Hollow Village, New York
Washington Irving’s Headless Horseman remains the only horror story to take place in Sleepy Hollow, New York. Today, it’s the fifty-first Safest City in America and has very few property crimes and even fewer violent crimes. The local law enforcement’s community-oriented policing tactics help with this: officers roam the community by foot and bike to increase visibility and positive public interaction. Maybe one day they’ll add a mounted police unit, but perhaps that would be a little too reminiscent of Irving’s story.
Sparta Township, New Jersey
Sparta, New Jersey, has a crime-fighting spirit—much like the fearsome Greeks it’s named after. It also has the brains to protect townsfolk from anything else that threatens the peace. At Sparta Middle School, parents can sign up for Honeywell Instant Alert to get real-time information about school cancellations, emergencies, and bus delays. Plus, the town safeguards the rest of its people with the Sparta Township Emergency Preparedness initiative that prepares residents to respond to any type of emergency.
Ridgefield, New Jersey
The city of Ridgefield, New Jersey, is going strong with another win as one of America’s safest cities. While the police and community keep busy maintaining low crime rates, the health department protects people from becoming ill. Project Healthy Bones offers free exercises to residents fifty and older to stave off osteoporosis. Ridgefield also conducts free adult health screenings and counseling through the Health Education Assessment and Referral program so people get free risk assessments, advice, and referrals to medical professionals.
Our fifty-fourth Safest City neighbors number eleven, Norfolk, Massachusetts, and has an impressive safety regimen of its own. The Sharon Police instituted a Communities Against Terrorism program to educate residents about potential threats to the city and the importance of reporting suspicious activity. Because Sharon is only twenty-five miles from downtown Boston, it’s smart to protect the town from people who aim to do the region harm.
Woolwich Township, New Jersey
Woolwich, New Jersey, was the forty-fifth Safest City in America in 2016 and one of the fifty Safest Cities in New Jersey for the last three years, but it hasn’t made the city overconfident. The police department regularly recruits volunteers for SERV, a group that assists victims of domestic abuse or sexual violence. While the rates of violent crimes are low in Woolwich, this support system builds a stronger community and raise awareness about abuse.
Channahon has proven itself to be even safer than last year—up from its sixty-second slot. And while cops focus on protecting people, the community has its eyes on a different threat: invasive beetles. The city of Channahon, Illinois, has a program that pays for tree removal if some of the residents have to cut their own trees down due to beetle infestation. The city will even plant a replacement tree for the resident or have a nursery do it professionally to keep tree numbers up and balance the environment for people and animals.
One of America’s safest cities for the second year in a row sits at the edge of the rolling Berkshire Mountains. Established in 1708, its colonial history still shines through in the town’s architecture as well as the Ridgefield Police Department’s longstanding motto: Let No One's Ghost Ever Say “If Only Our Training Program Had Done Its Job.” To keep police officers fit for service in every meaning of the word, the department incentivizes fitness testing and sends officers to seminars to learn weapons qualifications, baton skills, proper handcuffing protocol, and more so citizens stay safe.
Mahwah Township, New Jersey
This NYC-commuter haven has everything from open spaces to a tight-knit feel—something you don’t get in the big city. Allan Becker coordinates the Mahwah Community Emergency Response Team to equip residents with basic training skills for natural disasters and other emergencies. The fifty active members in this group are there if the town ever needs them to spring into action.
New Milford, New Jersey
New Milford, New Jersey, is another Manhattan-commuter city that’s one of the safest places to live in America for the second year in a row. While police officers remain on the lookout for crime, they also watch out for the little ones in town. The New Milford Police Department offers free car seat safety checks to ensure children are buckled up properly and stay safe on the road.
Holliston is back on the 100 Safest Cities in America list in 2017—and for good reason. Its low numbers of violent and property crimes make this Boston suburb a safe place to call home. And so does the Children and Residents Encounter program, which is aware of individuals with special needs who are more likely to get lost, so program members can quickly lend support to find them. The Holliston Police Department also offers ample information on its website about crime prevention, sex offenders, burglary prevention, and more.
Berkeley Heights Township, New Jersey
Welcome to the Safest Cities in America list, Berkeley Heights, New Jersey! Your police force has done a fantastic job keeping the community safe. While the entire Berkeley Heights Police Department watches over the city, Lieutenant Ed Ammerlaan and Sergeant Jason Massimino head the Community Policing Unit, which focuses on building relationships between officers and residents. Paired with the city’s Swift911 emergency notification system—which alerts residents about weather, crime, and other hazards—we’re sure we’ll see this New Jersey city back on the list next year.
Bedford, Massachusetts, is a quaint New England town complete with cobblestone streets, colonial saltbox homes, and old-world charm. In order for residents to enjoy the history in a safe environment, the city invented a program called Park and Pedal. This program offers free commuter lots where residents can park their cars and switch to bikes to finish their commutes. With busy Boston traffic, Park and Pedal gives people a chance to exercise, go green, and save the headache and financial implication of finding and paying for parking in the crowded city.
Flushing Township, Michigan
Flushing Township likes its traditions—especially when they entail repeatedly gracing the 100 Safest Cities in America list, something the town has now done for two years in a row. Flushing Township also has a history steeped in tradition when it comes to farming: it has three farms that have been worked and owned by the same family for more than 100 years. The town works hard to maintain its safety record and historic vistas by keeping the police force staffed with the best and brightest, and by hosting regular hazardous waste disposal days to ensure no one sullies the land. Thanks to these efforts, this community has stayed as beautiful and healthy as it was when it was founded in 1838.
Madison, New Jersey
Madison, New Jersey, is named after the fourth US president, James Madison. It’s also known as The Rose City, and now it’s the sixty-fourth Safest City in America. But those aren’t the only notable facts about Madison. Based on ratings from the Insurance Service Office, a private group that studies hundreds of fire companies in New Jersey, the Madison Fire Department was one of only seventy-eight departments to receive a Class 3 rating or better—on a scale where Class 1 is the best and Class 10 is the worst—for its equipment, firefighters, training, and other criteria. Congrats on this prestigious distinction, Madison!
Hamburg Township, Michigan
The 21,825 residents of Hamburg are lucky to live by its thirty-two lakes. The people of this town enjoy fishing, kayaking, boating, and swimming—and the nearby twenty-mile Lakelands Trail State Park. Because Hamburg has so much natural landscape for its residents to explore, the police officers have mountain bikes, a Polaris utility vehicle, and a police boat so they can patrol all the city’s territory and make sure citizens stay safe no matter where they are or what they’re doing.
Poland Township, Ohio
Poland Township is back on the list this year and up from its eightieth place in 2016. After researching everything this city offers its residents, we found its police department’s mobile data system to be the most notable. This system allows patrolling officers to access vehicle information and driver's licenses without using the police radio—essentially making this process hands-free so officers may focus on the road and what’s happening around them.
New Providence, New Jersey
New Providence, New Jersey, is flanked by the Passaic River and Watchung Mountains. Suffice to say, it’s easy on the eyes. It’s also an easy place to live with low instances of violent crime and fantastic school programs. The STEM program, which inspires children to explore science, technology, engineering, and math, and the TryCan program, which brings social development programs, community service opportunities, and fun activities to children with special needs, serve as two of the most impressive programs. Both demonstrate community commitment by providing every resident with engaging and enriching activities they love.
Wyckoff Township, New Jersey
Wyckoff, New Jersey, loves its history: its Zabriskie House from 1730 still stands proudly in town, and the town’s status as one of the Safest Cities in America has been reprised for a second year in a row! To preserve the town’s legacy of peace, the police department publishes a variety of resource articles on its website, covering everything from cyber safety and pedestrian safety to the importance of displaying house numbers correctly and how to apply for a block party. Educating citizens about safety helps them enhance their personal security and that of the town, so we’re ecstatic to see this happening in Wyckoff.
Brandon Township, Michigan
Brandon Township could use its OakAlert System to tell everyone in town about this breaking news: it’s on the 100 Safest Cities in America list! But this service is best suited to alert people in town about severe weather and emergencies in the area. We love that this town never stops looking out for its residents or fragile ecosystem. While the police protect the people, the Oakland County Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area removes invasive plants like Phragmites, which endanger local vegetation. It seems like Brandon Township, Michigan, has everything covered.
Adams Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania
Adams Township in Butler County has been going strong since the mid-1800s. With its presidential namesake, it’s only fitting that this city was one of the safest in America in 2015 and 2016, and now it’s the seventieth-safest place to live in the United States. It’s evident that the police do a wonderful job keeping the peace, but the Quality E.M.S. organization deserves some credit, too, for its work safeguarding youth with free car seat checks and professional installations. We’re proud to see this city has inaugurated such high caliber safety protocol.
Hudson, Ohio, is climbing the ranks—up sixteen spots from its eighty-seventh rank in 2016—and its landmark clock tower and brick buildings aren’t the only reason this city sits so pretty. Hudson’s Merry Mulch program recycles Christmas trees to disperse to local gardens and increase water efficiency. The city’s Green Initiatives also work to plant trees and maintain urban forestry in this growing city. These programs and low crime rates make Hudson one of the safest and best places to live in America.
Lindenhurst, Illinois, has a slew of safety programs, which explains why it’s back for a second year as one of America’s safest cities. One program unique to Lindenhurst is the Truck Enforcement Unit, which safeguards passenger vehicles from larger trucks by enforcing safe driving habits and protocol with truck drivers traveling through town. The Lindenhurst Police Department’s SEND (Strong Enough to say No to Drugs) program educates fifth graders about the dangers of substance abuse, and its TRACK class (Taking Responsibilities and Accepting Choices through Knowledge) educates older students about drugs, alcohol, and activities that can derail lives, so they both strengthen the community and help keep it safe.
Montgomery Township, New Jersey
Our sixty-seventh Safest City in America in 2016 and seventy-third this year falls next to Sourland Mountain Preserve, so it has both beautiful, natural landscapes and low crime rates. What we love most—aside from the active and hardworking police force—is Montgomery Township’s Project Lifesaver. This program keeps track of citizens with Alzheimer’s disease or autism, or other residents who are prone to wandering—so the police immediately know what to do if someone gets lost or goes missing. Successful safety goes far beyond locking doors, so it’s encouraging to see programs in place to keep every member of the community safe.
Based on its name, it makes sense that Zionsville serves as a sanctuary for its residents. The city was also one of Abraham Lincoln’s speaking stops before his inauguration in 1861. Zionsville’s active Neighborhood Watch and crime prevention programs allows citizens to customize security plans to fit their needs. Each chapter is encouraged to assign a Crime Prevention Officer who coordinates the program, as well as Block Captains and general Watch members to form an iron-clad, crime-fighting system. This attention to detail and organization has helped make Zionsville one of the safest places to live in America.
South Fayette Township, Pennsylvania
Congratulations for appearing on the Safest Cities in America list for the second year in a row, South Fayette—and moving up seventeen spots! Not only has this city proven to be safe, but it’s residents are also healthy. Live Well South Fayette Township promotes, encourages, and enhances healthy lifestyles among its residents by challenging businesses and restaurants to become Live Well Workplaces. This means businesses prioritize the health of their employees, and restaurants display calorie information on menus and eliminate trans fats.
Bedford Town, New York
To those who want a bucolic escape within an hour of bustling New York City: move to Town of Bedford, New York. This city is home to Westmoreland Sanctuary, and there are many miles of trails throughout the county. And because this city is so safe, people can go out and enjoy it! The local utility company, NYSEG, also works to preserve the health and safety of residents who rely on electricity to run medical equipment. When a power outage occurs, these residents get text and phone call alerts with details about when power will be restored so they can make plans to go to a hospital, run a generator, or sit tight.
Living in Petal, Mississippi, is a dream for residents. Aside from affordable housing, mild winters, and a low unemployment rate, Petal also has very low crime. We’re not the only ones to notice, either. Petal was named the Best Town in Mississippi for Young Families by Nerdwallet.com and touted as the Sports Illustrated Sportstown for Mississippi because of its exceptional trails, golf courses, and more. We’re glad that this city is safe enough for everyone to get out and experience all it has to offer.
Bergenfield, New Jersey
Bergenfield, New Jersey, is a little urban and suburban haven right outside of New York City. In addition to being one of the safest places to live in America two years in a row, Bergenfield has been named the second-best place to raise a family in New Jersey by Businessweek. With programs like Bergenfield’s affordable adult-vaccine program that offers residents the preventative care they need at an affordable price, it’s no wonder why this town has continued to be a great place to live and stay safe.
Ringwood, New Jersey
Surrounded by the Ramapo and Wyanokie Mountains, it’s surprising that this beautiful city sits only forty miles outside of urban New York City. However, it’s no shock that Ringwood is back on the Safest Cities in America list this year because the town offers everything from free rabies vaccination clinics for pets to the ATLAS program (Alliance for Teaching Learning and Success) that helps young students excel in school and life. Keep up the good work, Ringwood. We hope to see more successful safety programs from you next year.
Carmel Town, New York
Carmel, New York, has the largest police department in Putnam County, and it’s leveraged this large force to make sure its residents live in one of the Safest Cities in America. This police force outdoes itself advocating for the community to get involved in Neighborhood Watch, take Halloween safety courses, enroll in bike safety classes, learn about childcare safety tips, and more. Carmel police also offer tours of the police department so residents can see what police officers do every day to keep the city safe and strengthen the ties between people and government.
We’re happy to report that Brecksville went without any murders or robberies in 2015—and that it’s back for another year on the Safest Cities in America list! This town knows how to invest in its people. The $10 million, 46,000-square-foot Human Services Center provides residents with a fitness center, free snow removal, free blood pressure screening services, and more. In Brecksville, there’s something for everyone as far as health, wellness, and safety go.
Oregon, Wisconsin, has beautiful green farmland and a small-town feel with just over 10,000 residents. Because it’s so lovely, the city goes to great lengths to ensure the town remains peaceful enough for residents to get out and enjoy it—like offering free Slow Down Watch for Kids signs to remind motorists to be aware of children at play. And to cut down on prescription pill addiction and drug prevalence in town, the police have added a drug drop box for people to dispose of unused or unwanted medication.
Randolph Township, New Jersey
Even though Randolph, New Jersey, has a low occurrence of violent and property crime, the city takes emergency management very seriously. The New Jersey town has a Rescue Squad of thirty volunteers who respond to natural disasters and emergencies. Ever since Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on the region, the city has installed generators in town buildings so they may be used as emergency shelters. Prevention and precaution are the precursors to safety, so we love to see programs like this.
Branchburg Township, New Jersey
Named after the branches of the Raritan River, Branchburg, New Jersey, is a confluence of safety and bucolic beauty. While the police ensure the safety of the town, the city works to enhance the health and wellness of the people living there. The Branchburg Recreation Department offers yoga and aerobics classes as well as a number of other programs that encourage self-care and community engagement.
The Canton Police Department doesn’t even rest during the holidays. In 2015, the officers began a Holiday Package Safe Delivery program that allows residents to use the police department’s address to safely ship packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Because the town reported only one violent crime in 2015, it’s trying to cut down on the more prevalent property crimes—of which there were forty-nine—and keep people from stealing its residents’ holiday cheer.
Warwick Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania
People travel to Warwick for everything from experiencing the area’s rich history to wine tasting at Rushland Ridge Winery to spoiling their potbellied pigs at the Ross Mill Farm potbellied pig spa. But the pigs aren’t the only ones who enjoy what the town has to offer. With its Community Accountability Program, the Central Bucks Police aims to rehabilitate first-time adult offenders. It’s programs like these that bring residents closer together and help strengthen it from within.
Cecil Township, Pennsylvania
It’s great to see all of the safety initiatives Cecil Township, Pennsylvania, has to offer. We particularly love that Cecil Township’s K-9 Officer, Miner, has been put to work raising awareness about how police and their police dogs work to keep people safe. He often visits local schools with officers to spread the word and encourage others to protect the town.
South Lyon, Michigan
The South Lyon Police Department goes above and beyond in this community and successfully keeps violent and property crimes low. The department offers free firearm storage that enables residents to safely store their firearms at the police department while they’re on vacation or away for long periods of time. The recreation department also concentrates on the health and wellness of South Lyon residents by maintaining the Huron Valley Rail Trail for people to safely exercise on. The diversity of community enrichment activities and safety initiatives makes South Lyon one of the best and safest places to live in America.
One of the safest cities in Wisconsin for the past few years, Muskego is now in a bigger pond: the 100 Safest Cities in America list! With lake access, snowmobiling, and park trails, there’s so much to do and enjoy here—and the low crime makes it possible. Muskego has a Get-out And Play (GAP) all-day playground program to inspire youth to lead healthy and active lives. It’s been going strong for more than fourteen years and has children outside all day during the summer doing a variety of fun activities—as long as weather permits, of course.
Ocean Pines, Maryland
Ocean Pines, Maryland, started as a resort community for aging adults in 1968. Today, the community has developed into a full town with its own water system, police department, fire department, and more. The city has implemented a program called Play It Safe that fights alcohol and drug abuse in the community by encouraging high school students to make responsible, informed, and healthy decisions. The town’s community center, Red Doors, offers free activities: STEM Camp, safeTALK workshop for suicide awareness, yoga, and more. These activities help Ocean Pines retain a happy population and maintain its status as one of the Safest Cities in America.
Upper St. Clair Township, Pennsylvania
With fourteen parks, five baseball fields, a community golf course, and various walking trails, Upper St. Clair is an active town. The town maintains its family-friendly and safe appeal with various programs, including the Youth Steering Committee that fosters the well-being of youth by educating them about drug and alcohol abuse. And the police department hosts the Citizens’ Police Academy that covers the criminal justice system, firearm safety, patrol procedures, and much more. These types of initiatives help residents contribute to the community’s success.
With eight parks and easy access to mountain recreation, there’s always something to do in Johnstown, Colorado. Known affectionately as the Community That Cares, the town has created a free community communication service so residents can stay up to date with news and emergencies. The Senior Center in town hosts a bingo night to bring people together. And the town’s police department offers a Security Check Request service, where residents can request that police officers stop by to check on their houses while they’re out of town.
Dumont, New Jersey
Dumont is a small town with a big heart. Tucked in northern New Jersey, this Bergen County community boasts two major parks: Veterans Memorial Park and Twin Boro Field. Together, these two parks include numerous ballparks, a football field, and a tennis court—and nearby is the softball diamond at Gina’s Field. The town comes together every September for Dumont Day, a fun family event with food, games, live music, and more. And to sustain this quality of life, the town has established the Dumont Shade Tree Commission to protect trees and beautify the town’s surroundings.
Southeast of Worcester lies the quaint town of Grafton. Its New England charm, lush greenery, and low crime rate make it an ideal place to raise a family. The town does a lot for its community members, including the Citizens Police Academy that teaches people about laws, best practices, and other law enforcement tips. The town also runs the Community Harvest Project, where people get together to grow fruits and vegetables for families in need. And Grafton even has an after-school program, at North St. Elementary School, created to foster growth and provide a safe environment for children in kindergarten up to the sixth grade. With all these community initiatives, it’s no wonder Grafton is one of the safest places to live.
Raritan Township, New Jersey
The country landscape of Raritan Township seems a rarity this close to urban New York City. The city is full of gorgeous pastures, barns, and lush fields—and it’s also packed with people who care about the safety of residents. The Raritan Township Police Department’s Operation Blue Angel program assists citizens who may be unable to answer their doors in an emergency due to mobility issues, so everyone stays safe regardless of age or ability.
The first shots of the American Revolutionary War rang out in Lexington, Massachusetts, in 1775. More than 200 years later, this historical fight remains one of this city’s few violent incidents. Today, Lexington peacefully protects its residents with programs like the Lexington Emergency Assistance Fund, which offers financial support to Lexington citizens who have experienced crises. Looking out for every resident—in good times and in bad—in conjunction with low crime rates makes Lexington one of the Safest Cities in America.
John Hancock donated Holden’s town square to the city centuries ago, and he would be proud to see it flourishing as one of the Safest Cities in America today—especially because it just barely missed our list last year! Holden residents may hold their heads up high and go about town feeling safe because there weren’t any murders reported in 2015, and the city’s property crime rate remains low as well. All the better to enjoy the history and quaint New England feel this city has to offer.
North Castle Town, New York
To forge strong bonds between residents and the police force, North Castle, New York, has a Police Benevolent Association. This group holds fun social events to bring police officers and citizens together and create a better understanding of both of their roles in the community. The North Castle Citizen Corps Council also works with local volunteers to prepare the town for emergency response. It seems North Castle has taken every step to maintain peace, goodwill, and safety within its city limits, so congratulations—the hard work has paid off!
Lake in the Hills, Illinois
A town with a name that sounds like a fairytale should have a happily ever after. We’re happy to report that Lake in the Hills, Illinois, had a perfect ending to the year with exceptionally low crime reports. With magical events like the Daddy Daughter Enchanted Forest Ball and safety initiatives such as the Teen Safety Series—which educates youth and parents about drugs, alcohol, social media safety, bullying, and more—this town should continue to be one of the safest and best in the kingdom.
Franklin Lakes, New Jersey
Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, is last, but not least, on SafeWise’s 100 Safest Cities in America ranking. You might recognize Franklin Lakes from Real Housewives of New Jersey, but we think its work protecting residents from local black bears through education, awareness, and advocacy is more noteworthy. The Mayor’s Wellness Campaign, headed by Mayor Frank Bivona, is also impressive because it encourages people to get out, be active, and stay healthy through triathlons, fundraisers for nonprofits, and more.
Want Your City to Make Our List?
It’s truly our pleasure to spotlight the Safest Cities in America. We never stop beaming while reading what inventive, holistic, and successful safety programs towns come up with to keep residents, the environment, and animals safe. We hope you enjoyed reading about the 2017 Safest Cities in America and work with your own government and townspeople so your city can appear on our list next year!
How We Rank Cities
SafeWise compares crime rates to a city’s population to find safety rankings. To determine the Safest Cities in America, we considered all communities with at least 10,000 people, and we added local public safety and community health programs to the mix. If you want more detailed information, read about our full methodology.
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