Area cities still among safest

first_img Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley and Santa Clarita have all tried to keep crime down while dealing with significant population growth. From 2000 to 2004, the three cities have each seen jumps of more than 6 percent. “The more people you have, the more possibility you have for higher crime,” city of Santa Clarita spokeswoman Gail Ortiz said. “In 2004, we had five murders. For a city of 170,000, that’s really good. We’d rather have none, but it’s still very low. We’re talking very small amounts of crime in a medium-size, growing city.” Ortiz questioned Morgan Quitno’s methodology, which only used six types of crime and weighted them evenly. Santa Clarita’s serious crimes – which include violent crimes and property crimes like auto theft and burglary – have dropped from 39 per 1,000 people in 1994 to 21 per 1,000 people in 2004, she said. “The best measure of how safe a community is isn’t these statistics,” Thousand Oaks City Manager Scott Mitnick said. “You look at the big picture – the property values, school test scores and health of the economy. We know we’re fortunate to succeed by all counts.” To view the complete list, go online to www.morganquitno.com. The company charges $1.99 for an immediate 28-page download. Josh Kleinbaum, (818) 713-3669 josh.kleinbaum@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Glendale and Santa Clarita remain among the safest cities in the nation, despite a suburban population boom that pushed two of them down in the rankings. Thousand Oaks held steady at No. 7 in 2004 for cities with a population of more than 75,000, according to rankings released this week by Morgan Quitno, a publishing company that crunches FBI statistics. Simi Valley dropped from No. 17 to No. 22, and Santa Clarita fell 26 spots to No. 36 – behind No. 26 Glendale, the top-ranked city with a population more than 200,000. “People have come to expect that Thousand Oaks remains one of the safest cities in the nation,” Thousand Oaks Mayor Claudia Bill-de la Pea said. “As we continue to grow, we are going to attract a few more problems, but overall, Thousand Oaks can be very proud of maintaining its title as one of the safest cities in the nation.” Morgan Quitno ranked 369 cities with a population greater than 75,000 based on FBI crime statistics from 2004. The company used six crime categories, all weighted evenly – murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and motor-vehicle theft. Newton, Mass., Clarkstown, N.Y., and Amherst, N.Y, were ranked the safest cities in America. Burbank checked in at No. 75, Palmdale at No. 223, Lancaster at No. 261 and Los Angeles at No. 290. Glendale led cities with a population of more than 200,000, despite the Glendale Police Department’s claim that it is understaffed. The city hired 25 officers in the past two years, pushing the total to 270, and the City Council has pledged to hire 75 more over the coming decade. Glendale is the ninth-ranked city with a population over 100,000, down from No. 7 last year. “Certainly, as far as a large city with a population in excess of 200,000, that is excellent, something we can be very proud of,” Glendale Assistant Police Chief Ron DePompa said. “When you look at the 100,000 population benchmark, which is what we typically use, it is a little disconcerting that we have over time lost some ground there.” last_img read more