STOCK_St. John Town Hall (copy)

St. John Town Hall. The town was named one of Indiana's safest cities for 2017 in a newly released report. 

St. John is the safest community in Indiana according to the National Council for Home Safety and Security.

The National Council for Home Safety and Security is a trade association comprised of home security professionals across the United States that advocates for safe communities and home safety with a strong focus on community involvement.

The council combined data from the most recent FBI Crime Reports, population data and its own research to create the rankings.

Although the list released Tuesday is entitled the Safest Cities in Indiana Report for 2017, many of the communities listed are actually towns.

In addition to St. John holding the top spot on the list, Lowell ranks fourth, Dyer sixth, Chesterton at 10 and Valparaiso at 11. Cedar Lake and Munster also round out the top 20. 

The council's report describes St. John as a "cozy city that contains local sports clubs and community organizations to make sure its residents stay active and engaged."

Town Manager Steve Kil said in the past two or three years, St. John has earned the distinction of being one of the safest communities in the state, usually finishing in the top five or top 10.

"This is the first time we've been named No. 1," he said. "It's actually kind of exciting." It means we've earned that distinction."

Kil said a lot of factors contribute to the ranking, first being the citizenry which extends to public safety personnel.

"Everybody take great pride in our community," he said.

St. John Police Chief James Kveton said he is proud of the work the town's officers do to proactively address crime-related concerns and re-actively investigate crimes that are reported to them and professionally interact and build relationships with residents to maintain good communication and a high level of crime prevention.

"Much of our success related to safety can also be attributed to the growth and development philosophy our Town Fathers have developed and maintain," he said. 

Lowell Town Council President LeAnn Angerman said she believes the distinction of being one of the safest communities confirms what the people of Lowell have known for many years.

"Lowell is a great place to live and raise a family," she said.

Angerman commends Police Chief Erik Matson and the entire Lowell Police Department for their dedication and professionalism.

"Their consistent efforts, which are displayed daily in many ways, are greatly appreciated," she said.

To help identify the safest cities, the council did not include communities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 5,000. The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70 percent of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 3 percent. The council also moved the decimal point over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.


Lake County reporter

Rob covers urban affairs and other matters in Crown Point, St. John, Winfield and beyond. Previously he covered Valparaiso, Hammond, Gary and East Chicago. He's also written for various magazines and pens a culture blog for The Times.