BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Bridgewater Township ranked number two on consumer research firm ValuePenguin’s top 10 list of “2015 Safest Cities in NJ” for big cities comprised of more than 45,000 people.
Crime trend feedback from the State of New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety shows that, from 2013 to 2014, the overall crime rates in Bridgewater Township decreased by 0.6 percent.
“All our guys are trained to handle any emergency situation that may arise in their given patrol district [and] the response time on average is about 3 to 4 minutes,” said Bridgewater Township Police Chief Manny Caravela.
The Bridgewater Township Police Department reported 620 total crimes in 2014, according to statistics from the State of New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety. When compared to the population of the municipality, the chances of crime rests below 1 percent.
"As a whole, we have crimes against property and theft,” Caravela said. “Historically we don't usually have crimes against victims."
According to Uniform Crime Reports provided by the U.S. Department of Justice, violent crime in 2013 in Bridgewater Township reached a maximum of 16 reported violent crimes in a population of 45,009 people. That equates to less than a 0.01 percent chance of violent crime in that area.
The U.S. Department of Justice categorizes violent crimes by four offenses - murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.
The state of New Jersey as a whole, about 8.9 million people, experienced 25,674 violent crimes in 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. This means that residents are eight times more likely to be involved in a violent crime in New Jersey as a whole than in Bridgewater Township.
"We try to have a proactive police force where we are actively patrolling the area to prevent any violent crimes," Caravela said.
Three other towns in Somerset County - Bernards, Hillsborough and Montgomery - were also ranked among the “2015 Safest Cities in NJ,” according to ValuePenguin.
Violent crime rates in those towns have also dipped below 0.01 percent, according to statistics provided by the U.S. Department of Justice.
"Congratulations to our four top-ranked municipalities," said Somerset County Freeholder Director Mark Caliguire in a release from the county. "The local elected officials and police departments in those towns work hard to maintain a safe environment for their citizens."
For more information about the ValuePenguin study, click here.