MAHOPAC, N.Y.— Carmel/Mahopac has been named the 80th safest municipality in the country with a population greater than 10,000 by SafeWise.com, a website dedicated to home safety and security news.
That’s a jump of 33 positions, as Carmel was ranked 113th in last year’s survey.
SafeWise based its rankings on two criteria: the number of reported violent crimes and property crimes per capita. Violent crimes include aggravated assault, murder, rape and robbery, while property crimes are considered to be burglary, arson, larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft.
In Carmel, which has a population of 34,406, there were only 0.20 violent crimes per 1,000 residents (down from 0.35), and 4.60 property crimes per 1,000 residents (down from 5.98), according to FBI Crime Report statistics.
The SafeWise team analyzed FBI crime statistics from all 50 states and researched each city’s public safety, public health and educational offerings to determine 2017’s 100 Safest Cities in America.
SafeWise is an independent review and comparison website that provides consumers with comparison tools, information, and educational materials about home security techniques.
The researchers said this about Carmel: “[The town] has the largest police department in Putnam County and it’s leveraged this large force to make sure its residents live in one of the Safest Cities in America. This police force outdoes itself advocating for the community to get involved in Neighborhood Watch, take Halloween safety courses, enroll in bike safety classes, learn about childcare safety tips, and more. Carmel police also offer tours of the police department so residents can see what police officers do every day to keep the city safe and strengthen the ties between people and government.”
Town officials were pleased to hear the news.
“I believe that the credit must go to the hardworking members of our police department,” said Police Chief Mike Cazzari. “The reported reduction in crime is a result of their dedication to the community.”
Supervisor Ken Schmitt had high praise for the Carmel Police Department, as well as the other police agencies that help patrol the town.
“The Carmel Police Department is very proactive and gets the message out to the town,” Schmitt said. “This is such an honor and they do an awesome job and it shows; we have actually moved up in the survey.”
Schmitt noted that policing the community is a collaborative effort.
“It’s a testament to all our law enforcement agencies,” he said. “They do a great job patrolling the community and are responsive to the needs of the residents and the business owners. We have three agencies: the Carmel police, the Sheriff’s Department and the state police, and we are fortunate to have them.”
Alyssa Baker, a security expert with SafeWise, said that the company uses the most up-to-date FBI crime data as the backbone of its reports. “We rely on information that cities across the nation report through the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program,” she said. “We also utilize a population threshold. We determine an appropriate threshold for each state and only report on cities with populations above this number. The number is based on the state’s population as a whole and the number of cities to be included in the list. Using a population threshold reduces the risk of outliers, and lowers the likelihood of an extreme outlier skewing the data.”
Before rankings can be assigned, Baker said, SafeWise narrows down the list of eligible cities based on certain criteria.
“This means that we leave out any city with a population below the established threshold, as well as any city that did not submit a complete crime report to the FBI,” she said.