If I told you Yakima was the 16th safest medium sized city in Washington, would you believe it?  Does that match up with your impression of Yakima?

Do you feel safe when you walk down the streets of your home town?  Statistically, your city or town may be quite safe and yet you personally may not feel safe based on your definition of what is "safe."

Generally speaking, safety means being protected from or not exposed to danger or risk; and might I add regardless of personal feelings.  I say that because some people will say they don't "feel" safe even when statistics and conditions on the ground would indicated that they are.

Where is this going?  It's preamble to report from AdvisorSmith which uses data provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to determine the safest communities in Washington.

In the study, Small Cities are 10-thousand population or less, Medium Cities  are 10 to 50 thousand and Large Cities are 50-thousand plus.  When the current crime stats are  presented within those parameters AdvisorSmith reached the conclusion that by size, the safest cities in Washington State are Colville, Camas and Sammamish.

AdvisorSmith says they "calculated a crime score for each city based upon the number of reported crimes and the mix of crimes committed in each city.....we examined crime reports from 180 cities within the state of Washington....the average crime score statewide was 46."

Looking at the 25 Large Cities in Washington, the numbers show the Tri-Cities "safer" than Yakima with Richland #7, Pasco #8 and Kennewick #11.  The Capital, Olympia is #19 and the three least safest large cities in Washington are Seattle, Tacoma and Spokane. The state average score for larger cities is 64.  Yakima's score is 74.4 and Spokane's is 127.5.

There are 61 Midsize Cities in Washington with an average crime score of 49.  The Yakima Valley's midsized cities include Grandview #23 and Sunnyside #50.  Wenatchee is #32 and Ellensburg #39.

 

Finally, the 94 small cities had an average crime score of 40.  Eastern Washington Cities are represented by Moxee #12, Tieton #18, Zillah #26, Selah #33 and Union Gap holds the dubious distinction of being last or least safe at #94 with a crime score of 122.5 compared to the average of 40.

So one last look at Yakima.  The average crime score for cities our size is 60 and Yakima posts a 74.4. Renton and Federal Way are slightly better, Spokane Valley and Auburn are slightly worse. We are somewhat over average in crime score and at position #16 out of a total of 25 cities of 50-thousand plus, we are also somewhat over halfway in the safest cities spread. ( 13 1/2 is the middle, we're at 16)

Bottom line, Yakima has the statistics to show it's somewhere past the middle of the pack with much of the weight of the more serious crimes here impacted by gang on gang violence.  Do you feel safe in your city?  I hope you do, but at least now you know what the numbers show.  Check out the AdvisorSmith study here.