ST. JOHN — When it comes to crime, the criminals aren’t coming to St. John.
The town was rated the third safest of 100 communities in Indiana with a population above 4,000 in a report by SafeWise, a consultant on home security systems. The rating is based on the 2014 annual FBI Crime Report statistics for the number of violent crimes and property crimes per 1,000 population in each community.
St. John ranked third of the 100 communities with 0.32 violent crimes per 1,000 and 6.36 property crimes per 1,000. The safest community, based on the SafeWise rating, was Ligonier with 0.23 and 2.74 respectively followed by Zionsville at 0.23 and 5.83. Ligonier and Zionsville swapped places from the previous rankings while St. John did not make the top 20 before.
Rounding out the Top 10 were: 4. New Whiteland, 5. Berne, 6. Greensburg, 7. Carmel, 8. Fishers, 9. Winona Lake and 10. Jasper. Dyer, which previously ranked ninth, finished 12th, while Lowell fell from 11th to 15th. Porter moved up a spot to 17th, and Munster joined the Top 20 at 19th after not making the list last time.
St. John Police Chief James Kveton said, “I would attribute the ranking to the type of residents we draw and to the community we have as well as the officers and the level of training they’ve received. Although we have limited manpower in St. John, the officers are very diligent about their duty. I’m very proud of the officers we have.”
Kveton credited the Town Council for providing the department with the tools it needs to do the job. Town Manager Steve Kil said the town received other similar accolades in recent years.
“It’s no secret we have a very active Police Department and a community that watches out for each other,” Kil said. “That attitude and work ethic is expressed in the statistics. Along with our schools and zoning regulations, these are things that weigh heavily on where people decide to locate and explains the growth of the community.”
Violent crimes are defined as aggravated assault, forcible rape, murder and robbery, and property crimes are burglary, larceny/theft and vehicle theft.
“With these reports, we have put ourselves into our readers shoes in order to understand what makes us all feel safe or unsafe in a city,” the SafeWise report states. “We feel these rankings help get to the heart of the issue: what are the chances of crime happening to you or your loved ones,” the SafeWise report states.
Other Northwest Indiana communities’ rankings according to the SafeWise analysis were: 26. Valparaiso, 28. Cedar Lake, 36. Portage, 38. Highland, 45. Griffith, 47. Whiting, 59. Merrillville, 72. Hammond, 79. Michigan City, 83. East Chicago, 87. Lake Station, 97. Gary and 99. Hobart.