2016 Safest Places in Colorado

by Susan Gulliford

Colorado’s population growth from July 1, 2014 to July 1, 2015 was double the rate of growth for the U.S., and demographers attributed it to migration. With so many people moving to The Centennial State, ValuePenguin decided to analyze the latest FBI Crime Report to determine the safest cities in Colorado. These 77 cities have crime score that range from 41 to 5,266. The average crime score is 1,583.

The major takeaway is that small cities dominate the top five safest places. Current year and year-over-year analysis demonstrates this fact. You can review the full report here.

5 Safest Places in Colorado

These cities have an average final crime score of 134, which is 92% lower than their typical peer in the state. These five are the safest places in the state.

1. Dacono

"Land of Opportunity" is the motto for this small city (population of 4,425) that is a 33-minute drive from Denver. It is also a very safe for people and their property. Dacono had the third-lowest rate of violent crime and the second-lowest rate of property crime in this research. Despite its size, the police department offers a variety of programs such as House Watch, Citizen Police Academy and Santa Cops to keep crime low and promote good community relations.

2. Yuma

This small city in northeastern Colorado (40 miles from both the Kansas and Nebraska borders) earned the number two spot in this list. It reported zero violent crimes in 2014, and it had the fourth-lowest rate of property crimes. The city motto is, "A Great Place to Grow." Individuals and families can do just that in this safe environment.

3. Eaton

Another small city (population of 4,716) makes the top five. Eaton is approximately 35 minutes from Fort Collins. The police department publishes crime statistics in order to promote transparency; however, there is very little crime. Eaton had the lowest rate of property crime, and it reported only three violent crimes.

4. Frederick

The safest community in the mid-size city category comes in at number four. This city of approximately 10,600 is a 35-minute drive from Denver and a mere five minutes from top-rated Dacono. The police department has programs such as Neighborhood Watch, Santa Cops and scholarships to encourage strong community relations. Frederick had the second-lowest rate of violent crime of any city in this research. It also had a low rate of property crime. The median household income for Frederick was $21,000 higher than the median for Colorado, and the town has a low level of poverty.

5. Severance

Severance is the smallest community (population of 3,447) in the top five. It has a great location approximately 10 miles east of Fort Collins in northern Colorado. The Weld County Sheriff’s Department provides law enforcement, and this arrangement works well for the community. Severance reported only two violent crimes in 2014, and it had the sixth-lowest rate of property crime.

Population Breakdown

Although ValuePenguin adjusted for population in our crime rankings, it is still difficult to compare a small town to a large city. To account for this fact, ValuePenguin separated the safest cities into three categories: towns with populations between 3,000 and 8,000, midsize cities with populations between 8,000 and 20,000, and larger cities with populations greater than 20,000. Here are the findings:

Safest Places in Colorado

Full List of Places in Colorado

Below is the entire list of places that were included in the “Safest Places in Colorado” study. They are listed from the safest to the least safe, according to our analysis. The calculation for the crime scores can be found in the methodology section below. Take a look at the graph and see where your hometown ranks.

Rank

CityCrime Score

1

Dacono41

2

Yuma99

3

Eaton101

4

Frederick213

5

Severance216

6

Rocky Ford239

7

New Castle247

8

Brush299

9

Erie306

10

Milliken308

11

Johnstown359

12

Fort Lupton361

13

Firestone469

14

Windsor513

15

Eagle538

16

Cherry Hills Village554

17

Florence757

18

Basalt762

19

Parker822

20

Mead849

21

Centennial873

22

Broomfield914

23

Lafayette943

24

Rifle1,014

25

Fruita1,018

26

Silverthorne1,077

27

Golden1,086

28

Monument1,103

29

Burlington1,130

30

Littleton1,185

31

Woodland Park1,247

32

Avon1,299

33

Craig1,323

34

Evans1,367

35

Salida1,405

36

Manitou Springs1,405

37

Steamboat Springs1,443

38

Monte Vista1,466

39

Arvada1,492

40

Gunnison1,593

41

Fort Morgan1,616

42

Fountain1,666

43

Durango1,667

44

Greenwood Village1,699

45

Fort Collins1,717

46

Loveland1,740

47

Aspen1,783

48

Northglenn1,784

49

Cortez1,791

50

Longmont1,798

51

Boulder1,802

52

Westminster1,930

53

Delta1,938

54

Montrose1,967

55

Sterling1,970

56

Thornton2,002

57

Brighton2,113

58

Vail2,131

59

Wheat Ridge2,153

60

Trinidad2,161

61

Canon City2,182

62

Commerce City2,250

63

Aurora2,489

64

Glenwood Springs2,496

65

La Junta2,500

66

Greeley2,680

67

Lone Tree2,717

68

Federal Heights2,855

69

Englewood2,858

70

Grand Junction2,927

71

Breckenridge2,950

72

Sheridan3,095

73

Colorado Springs3,107

74

Denver3,351

75

Lakewood3,381

76

Pueblo4,925

77

Glendale5,266

Year-over-year Change

People want a town that is consistently safe. Three of this year’s safest places, Dacono, Yuma and Eaton, were among the top five safest places for 2015. There was consistency at the bottom of the rankings. Pueblo, Glendale, Denver and Colorado Springs were in bottom five for both 2015 and 2016.

Small cities and towns dominated both years. In 2015, all of the safest places had populations under 8,000. This year, the five safest places in Colorado had populations under 11,000 people.

There are consistently safe large cities too. Erie, the top city in the large category, has a crime score of 306 which is 81% lower than its typical peer in the state. Overall, eight cities made it into the top 10 for safest large cities in both 2015 and 2016. The new additions to the safest large cities, Erie and Evans, were in the top 10 for safest mid-size cities last year.

Safest Places in Colorado

Methodology

To rank these places, we collected data from the 2014 FBI crime statistics by city, which provides the most recent crime data available. Not every town participates in this report and we also excluded towns with fewer than 3,000 residents because towns with small populations are more sensitive to crime score fluctuations for fewer crimes committed. The raw data report included property crimes (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson), and violent crimes (murder/manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) from all law enforcement agencies that chose to partake in the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting program.

We removed Louisville and Castle Rock from consideration because, the FBI "determined that the agency’s data were underreported."

We standardized the data to reflect violent and property crimes per 100,000, to account for population. Then, we aggregated a “crime score” by weighting violent crime at 80% and property crime at 20%. Though property crime is more prevalent, we figured that violent crime is more concerning to town residents. Then we adjusted the crime score for population size, giving more slack to larger cities. Finally, we ranked the cities based on their crime scores.

Here is an alphabetical table of all cities included with their ranks, making it easier to compare different cities. See where your city lies!

Rank

CityPopulationViolent Crime per 100KProperty Crime per 100KCrime Score
39Arvada113,0081502,3541,492
47Aspen6,7441044,2411,783
63Aurora350,9484132,8392,489
32Avon6,4192032,6021,299
18Basalt3,859262,021762
51Boulder104,2842322,6631,802
71Breckenridge4,6771287,5262,950
57Brighton36,1853683,1642,113
22Broomfield60,693511,707914
8Brush5,50954581299
29Burlington3,9463291,8251,130
61Canon City16,2914363,4372,182
21Centennial107,4851321,208873
16Cherry Hills Village6,393311,330554
73Colorado Springs444,9494583,6683,107
62Commerce City50,7543923,2142,250
49Cortez8,5881983,7611,791
33Craig8,8642142,4931,323
1Dacono4,425232341
53Delta8,8601024,5031,938
74Denver665,3535993,3593,351
43Durango17,7102712,8401,667
15Eagle6,527921,042538
3Eaton4,7166421101
69Englewood31,8131985,5542,858
9Erie20,11225612306
34Evans20,2842961,9921,367
68Federal Heights12,0964385,2412,855
13Firestone11,41853946469
17Florence3,8371821,381757
45Fort Collins154,0152142,4561,717
12Fort Lupton7,75652722361
41Fort Morgan11,4223682,5131,616
42Fountain27,5673122,5031,666
4Frederick10,60719453213
25Fruita12,7461961,6951,018
77Glendale4,55896510,5315,266
64Glenwood Springs9,9094044,6322,496
27Golden19,5561531,9181,086
70Grand Junction59,9724774,2192,927
66Greeley97,4064983,3802,680
44Greenwood Village14,8242093,2381,699
40Gunnison5,8654262,5231,593
11Johnstown12,69471591359
65La Junta7,0682555,4752,500
23Lafayette27,380951,746943
75Lakewood148,2364804,6173,381
30Littleton44,859892,1911,185
67Lone Tree13,824436,3872,717
50Longmont90,8133392,2711,798
46Loveland72,4652282,6691,740
36Manitou Springs5,3002452,7921,405
20Mead4,1291211,865849
10Milliken6,00283483308
38Monte Vista4,3691833,2961,466
54Montrose18,9851743,9031,967
28Monument5,8801362,3811,103
7New Castle4,59587326247
48Northglenn37,9093092,6621,784
19Parker49,4281291,234822
76Pueblo108,5918166,5174,925
24Rifle9,5341991,7521,014
6Rocky Ford3,899128154239
35Salida5,4541473,1721,405
5Severance3,44758377216
72Sheridan5,9232537,1923,095
26Silverthorne4,0521482,3941,077
37Steamboat Springs12,1142232,6421,443
55Sterling14,5844183,0581,970
56Thornton129,4422562,8942,002
60Trinidad8,3292884,3582,161
58Vail5,3161884,9662,131
52Westminster112,1002312,8971,930
59Wheat Ridge31,0963313,4672,153
14Windsor20,861241,093513
31Woodland Park7,1412802,1151,247
2Yuma3,589-27999

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