Bainbridge Island was recently ranked fifth on the 2020 list of safest cities in Washington State by Alarms.org, the website of the National Council for Home Safety and Security.
“Washington’s crime situation is a bit unusual,” the list’s authors wrote in their introduction. “The state boasts a violent crime rate considerably below the national average, yet has a significant property crime issue, mainly in Seattle and its other large cities. Nevertheless, Washington is home to a handful of cities where neither violent nor property crime are a significant issue.”
Among that handful, the overall safest city was Oak Harbor. With a population of about 23,000, it is the largest city on Whidbey Island.
“Oak Harbor is a very safe community that posted a violent crime rate of just above 1 per 1K and a property crime rate below 7 per 1K in 2018,” according to the list.
The second, third and fourth spots went to West Richland, Camas, and Snoqualmie, respectively.
Bainbridge ranked fifth with, according to the list, a population of 24,739 people and 1.05 law enforcement personnel per 1,000 people, by far the lowest of the cities in the top 10 spots.
According to the statistics used to compile the list, Bainbridge has 26 law enforcement employees and saw 25 incidents of violent crime and 242 incidents of property crime during the time studied.
The methodology behind the list’s compilation is described thusly: “To identify the safest cities, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and cities with populations under 10,000. This left 3,381 cities (out of a total of 9,251).
“We computed the total number of crimes reported by each city by adding violent crimes and property crimes. We then created a crime rate as the number of crimes per 1,000 population. Then we transformed the total crime rate variable so that the skewness was reduced and normalized.
“Data from 2,831 law enforcement agencies was then collected to determine police adequacy (Total Crimes / Number of police employees). We consider that the smaller the police adequacy statistic is, the safer the city is. This variable was also transformed and normalized.”
Finally, the two variables were combined to create a safety score for each city.