by Susan Gulliford
Smaller is safer in the Sooner State. That is the major takeaway from the ValuePenguin team’s analysis of the FBI Crime Report for Oklahoma. All five of the safest cities have populations between 5,000 and 10,000; however, four out of the five are in either the Oklahoma City or Tulsa metropolitan areas.
The ValuePenguin team examined 71 cities to determine the safest places in Oklahoma. These cities have crime scores that range from 298 to 6,023. The average crime score for the Sooner State is 1,930. You can review the full report here.
5 Safest Places in Oklahoma
These cities have an average final crime score of 515, which is 73% lower than their typical peer in the state. These five are the safest places in the state.
This small city of approximately 6,700 people is 26 miles outside of Oklahoma City. The police department offers services such as House Watch for residents who are going out of town and Security Watch for people who need extra patrols. Piedmont has the lowest rate of violent crime and the lowest rate of property crime for any city in this research. The city has a median household income 59% higher than the median for Oklahoma and a much lower rate of poverty.
Founded in 1907, Blanchard earns the number two spot in this study. It is a city of just under 8,000 people 29 miles from Oklahoma City. The police chief, deputy police chief, and six officers of the Blanchard Police Department keep residents and their property safe. It has the fourth-lowest level of violent crime and the second-lowest level of property crime. The median household income is 38% higher than the median for Oklahoma, and the level of poverty is lower too (10.1% for Blanchard versus 16.6% for Oklahoma).
3. Lone Grove
With 5,200 residents, Lone Grove is the smallest community in the top five. It is in the southern section of the state. In addition to the low rate of property crime, Lone Grove had the third lowest rate of violent crime. The median household income is slightly lower than the median for Oklahoma ($43,678 for Lone Grove versus $46,235 for Oklahoma) and the rate of poverty (15.9%) is in line with the percentage for the state.
Collinsville is 21 miles northeast of Tulsa. The police department has nine full-time officers, eight certified reserves and a chief of police that keep the community safe. In addition to a low rate of violent crime, Collinsville has the fourth-lowest rate of property crime. The median household income is 19% higher than the median for the state, and the city has a lower percentage of residents living in poverty, 10.6%, is lower than the percentage living in poverty statewide.
Skiatook is a town approximately 20 miles northwest of Tulsa. Despite its small size (population 7,800), it has a full-service police department with a patrol division, detective division and a school resource officer to keep the peace. Skiatook had the fifth-lowest rate of violent crime of any community in this study. The median household income is 13% lower than the state’s median and the percentage of people living in poverty is roughly the same as Oklahoma overall (17.9% for Skiatook versus 16.6% for Oklahoma).
Although we 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, we separated the safest cities into three categories: towns with populations between 5,000 and 10,000, midsize cities with populations between 10,000 and 20,000, and larger cities with populations greater than 20,000. Here are our findings:
Full List of Places in Oklahoma
Below is the entire list of places that we included in our “Safest Places in Oklahoma” 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.
Two cities, Piedmont and Collinsville, stand out for delivering a consistently safe environment to residents. Both communities made the top five in 2015 and 2016. There was no data from last year’s top-ranked community, Hugo, on the FBI Crime Report.
In both years, small cities dominated the list of safest places. However, there are consistently safe communities in the mid-size and large categories. Choctaw was the safest mid-size city in both 2015 and 2016. Bixby achieved the designation of safest city in the large category for both years.
Four out of five communities with the highest crime scores in this year’s research were repeats from 2015. All of the cities in the bottom five for 2016 were in the large category. The state’s two largest cities, Tulsa and Oklahoma City, were in the bottom five for both years, and Ardmore had the highest crime score both years.
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 5,000 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 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||City||Population||Violent Crime per 100K||Property Crime per 100K||Crime Score|