A recent study ranked Douglasville among the 2017 list of safest cities in the U.S. However, Douglasville ranked at the bottom of the list for Georgia at No. 24, behind every other ranked city except No. 25 East Point.

Some dissemination by the entity behind the study, SAFEHome.org indicated that Douglasville was found to be among the "safest cities in the U.S.," but within the state was next to last from the 25 included.

The study was released by SafeHome.org and according to information posted on the SAFEHome.org site, “The study used a variety of data sources and a combination of the FBI's latest report of how many and what types of crimes occurred, crime trends and other data points like law enforcement officer ratio, demographics, population density, unemployment rate, income, education level etc. to come up with our scoring.

“For the state level rankings, the population threshold was relaxed so that at least 25 cities would be ranked per state. The rest of the methodology is the same as for the national rankings.”

The study’s state rankings included Georgia cities with populations over 30,000.

The study has been formulated to derive through a set of measures the "safest" cities in which to reside throughout the nation and Georgia is given a favorable nod overall.

And according to background information at the SAFEHome site, “This ranking calculates a Safety Score ... the higher the score, the safer data shows the city to be.”

“If Georgia were a country it would be the 28th largest economy in the world, and is one of 15 states to have an AAA credit rating. On top of the scenery and diverse economy, you also have a lot of cities that rank very high in terms of safety,” the site’s information states.

What the study doesn’t do is compare larger populations with smaller ones; so for instance, metro Atlanta inside the perimeter is not compared with an outlying suburban area.

Douglasville’s population was shown to be just under 33,000. Douglasville scored 234 in violent crimes, trending upward by almost 23 percent, and over 2,000 property crimes, which was declining by 4.5 percent; Douglasville's citizen-to-officer ratio was shown at 276.

Of the 25 safest cities in Georgia, officer ratio was at least one officer for every 400 residents. The safest city was Peachtree city, a suburb to the south of Atlanta.

But while the background information for the study indicates that the FBI Uniform Crime Report (UCR) information is evaluated, it notes that the most recent data available was from calendar year 2015. SAFEHome obtained a copy of the 2015 data online.

“Cities without 2015 data, due to incomplete data or not following UCR’s guidelines, were not given a Safety Score.”

And according to the SAFEHome.org site, “Crimes are reported both as raw numbers and as occurrences per 100,000 residents. The occurrences per 100,000 residents are used in our analysis. This is because a large city such as New York City will have more crime occurrences simply because it has such a large population.”

“The process of dividing per 100,000 residents allows for fairer comparison among cities of different sizes. ... We have compared to each city’s 2014 data to analyze whether violent crime and property crime are rising or declining.”

Census data obtained dates back to the data collected in 2010.

But the SAFEHome.org website also incorporates a ranking of home security systems and offers “... insider tips [to] make it easier to choose an effective and affordable system from the many options,” but doesn’t acknowledge any conflict of interest in terms of credibility for the study. Asked for comment from SAFEHome via email, a representative responded to questions about the study.

“The point of the analysis was to see what we thought the safest cities in the U.S. were,” according to Thomas Snyder, spokesman for SafeHome.org. “We think we have a better methodology than anyone else. This does not serve our bottom line in any way. We do smaller studies ... but this was the biggest one that we have done so far,” Snyder said.

Asked for comment regarding the study, Douglasville Police Maj. J.R. Davidson, contacted by phone said, “We submit yearly crime stats to the FBI, a Uniform Crime Report, those are the official crime stats, and as far as companies looking to make a profit from getting people to click on their website, we don’t have any comment on that,” Davidson said.

To view the entire list, visit https://www.safehome.org/safest-cities/ga/.

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