North Dakota has a reputation as a safe state, with low crime rates throughout its cities. But there are a few whose level of safety exceeds others.
The National Council for Home Safety and Security announced its annual ranking of Safest Cities in North Dakota Report for 2017.
At the top was Bismarck, followed by West Fargo, Wahpeton, Valley City and Jamestown.
Statistics and crime rate information were published on the site alarms.org. The safest cities rankings were determined from analysis of the FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics from the previous year, with the term ‘cities’ referring to populations of 5,000 and more.
Addressed in the report were both violent and property crime numbers compared to total populations within each community.
The average city in North Dakota has a population of 36,429 and experienced three violent crimes per 1,000 people and 27 property crimes per 1,000 people in 2016.
Bismarck, the second largest city in North Dakota and home to the state capital, saw 1.47 violent crimes and 13.04 property crimes per 1,000 people in 2016.
The population of the Bismarck is slightly over 70,000.
North Dakota State University student and Bismarck native Jenny Hanson described her hometown as “a nice community (whose citizens) care a lot about the community.”
Though Hanson was not surprised by the results and feels comfortable about her safety in Bismarck, she said that the oil boom changed the dynamics of the community.
“You used to be able to leave your car unlocked in parking lots and not have to worry about anything being stolen. Now we just have to remember to lock our doors,” Hanson said.
Near to NDSU’s campus, West Fargo made number two on the list. With a smaller population around 33,000, the community experienced 1.5 violent crimes and 15.31 property crimes per 1,000 residents in 2016.
As stated on the city of West Fargo’s website, the West Fargo Police Department has a mission to enhance the quality of life for all of its citizens and accomplishes this through strategies to address the causes of crime and social disorder.
Fargo received the ranking as the 8th safest city in North Dakota, behind Dickinson and Grand Forks.