Atlanta Ranks 22nd Among Nation’s “Most Dangerous Cities”

19 11 2007

Detroit’s been getting a lot of press this morning for surpassing St. Louis as the country’s most dangerous city in the 14th edition of City Crime Rankings: Crime in Metropolitan America, but I wanted to see how Atlanta stacked up against other cities (with populations of 75,000+) across the country. Unfortunately, there’s no data for the whole metropolitan region’s population of 5 million due to a lack of burglary data, so the only ranking available is for the city’s 500,000 person population.

How were the rankings determined? According to the AP…”The report looked at 378 cities with at least 75,000 people based on per-capita rates for homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and auto theft. Each crime category was considered separately and weighted based on its seriousness, CQ Press said.” The cities were then ranked based on a composite “score”.

As the title of this post proclaims, the city of Atlanta didn’t fair that well, ranking 22nd “Most Dangerous” out of 378 eligible cities. However, that was a slight improvement from last year, when the city ranked 17th. Other major cities with known crime problems like Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Miami, ranked with in a couple places of Atlanta. Our neighbor to the west, Birmingham, AL fared even worse the Georgia’s capital, ranking 6th nationally. Click here for the full list of “Most Dangerous Cities” in PDF.

Conversely, Roswell, GA ranked as the 30th SAFEST city in the country. Mission Viejo, CA, Clarkstown, NY, and Brick Township, NJ ranked 1, 2, and 3 nationwide. Click here to view a PDF of the safest cities.

It should be noted that these rankings have been highly criticized. Not surprisingly by the cities that rank “Most Dangerous”, but also by the FBI. A statement on the FBI’s website reads “These rough rankings provide no insight into the numerous variables that mold crime in a particular town, city, county, state, or region,” the FBI said. “Consequently, they lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting communities and their residents.”

So, take this data with a grain of salt. At best it may give a very general idea of which cities have the most severe cases of the problems listed above, but beyond that its mostly a headache for city officials that have to combat negative PR for months to come.

Operation Hammer Time!

19 11 2007

Apparently a three day nightclub crackdown evokes early 90’s shiny baggy pants to the DeKalb police . “Operation Hammer Time” this past weekend followed a failed attempt by the DeKalb County Commission to roll back closing hours throughout unincorporated DeKalb.

The AJC has a slightly odd feature that highlights the crackdown at Pure (Clairmont and Briarcliff), El Noa Noa (Tucker) and Decatur’s very own Pin Ups. From the first person accounts in the article, it seems like AJC’s Tim Eberly went along for the ride (Bad boys, bad boys…).

Yet the AJC reports that the rollback legislation and the Operation have nothing to do with one another.

“The operation began Friday, three days after county commissioners and their chief executive bickered over bar closing times.Commissioners voted to roll back last call in unincorporated areas by more than an hour on most nights. When DeKalb County Chief Executive Vernon Jones vetoed the measure, some commissioners accused his administration of failing to enforce laws that keep watering holes in line.

DeKalb County police this weekend said Hammer Time was not a direct response to the accusations. But spokeswoman Mekka Parish said there had been “misinformation” that police there did not enforce the law.

So a catchy, although lame, operation name plus a call ahead to the AJC, isn’t a media response to the “embarrassment” (to quote one DeKalb commissioner) revolving around rolling back serving hours in the county? Sure it isn’t. And M.C. Hammer isn’t a washed up has-been.