Police & Fire

Carmel Ranked One of New York's Safest Towns

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CARMEL, N.Y.— Carmel/Mahopac has been named the 19th safest municipality in New York State by SafeWise.com, a website dedicated to home safety and security news.

SafeWise based its rankings on two criteria: the number of reported violent crimes and property crimes per capita. Violent crimes are considered to be aggravated assault, murder, rape and robbery, while property crimes are consideredto be  burglary, arson, larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft.

In Carmel, there were only 0.35 violent crimes per 1,000 residents, and 5.98 property crimes per 1,000 residents, according to FBI Crime Report statistics from 2014.

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Cities with fewer than 8,000 residents were disqualified, as were cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI. There were 13 or fewer violent crimes reported in each of the top 20 “safest cities,” and only one city reported a murder. According to the FBI’s crime report, 80 percent of these top 20 cities had no incidents of rape and over 50 percent reported zero robberies.

Other Hudson Valley municipalities making the top 20 list are Lewisboro (1), Briarcliff Manor (3), Rye (6), Harrison (9), North Castle (12), Croton-on-Hudson (13), Yorktown (14), Suffern (15), Sleepy Hollow (16) and Kent (17).

On the FBI’s website, it cautions against using the reported crime data to “rank” cities: “Comparisons lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting communities and their residents. Valid assessments are possible only with careful study and analysis of the range of unique conditions affecting each local law enforcement jurisdiction.”

Carmel actually dropped in the rankings from 8 to 19. Police Chief Mike Cazzari said he couldn’t put his finger on why that might have happened other than other municipalities entered the list for the first time.

“I don’t see where we had an increase,” he said. “Maybe other [towns] had a decrease. I am a little disappointed we have fallen in the standings.”

Cazzari said the town had no murders in 2014 and “just a few” sexual assaults. He noted that was the year that local restaurateur Lani “Ariano” Zaimi was charged with several sexual assault crimes and that could have impacted the statistics.

“It’s good that we are still in the top 20, but I would like to get back to the top of the list,” he said. “It would be nice if we had no crime. We have our share of assaults and some domestic issues, but it is nice to be touted as having low crime [rates]. I do believe this is a very safe community.”

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