When is it good not to be on a top ten list? When it is on the list of the
Cities in America. An organization called 24/7 Wall Street has taken the most recent FBI crime
statistics from the nation’s cities, and has determined that there are many other cities in the
United States that have dramatically higher levels of crime than does Springfield.
The website utilized 2011 crime statistics as reported by the FBI, which indicated that
violent crime dropped 4% last year, and dropped 5.5% a year earlier. The report concludes that
murder rates increased in seven of the top 10 cities. In eight of the 10, burglaries increased.
"We have always felt that the crime rate in Springfield is significantly lower than that in
many other cities in America,” said Springfield Mayor J. Michael Houston. “While we always
take crime very seriously in our community, this comparison more accurately represents the
situation on a national level than some other reports have.”
Springfield falls in the middle for similar
sized cities across the country. The difference from the Forbes' listing
is that it was based on metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs). This is
based on the actual cities statistics.
Springfield is not even close to the most dangerous city as listed by 24/7 Wall St, which
is Flint, Michigan. Flint reported 650% more murders than did Springfield in 2011. With a
population of 102,000, Flint reported 52 murders in 2011. Springfield, with a population of
116,000, fully 14,000 more than Flint, reported eight murders in 2011. Springfield did not
report a murder during the first five months of 2012.
The 24/7 report goes on to say that cities with the highest crime rates tend to have higher
rates of poverty and unemployment. Additionally, the two worst cities, Flint and Detroit,
Michigan, had significant budget issues, both of which being placed into fiscal oversight by the
state of Michigan.
“Every city in America is facing budget issues. We have been fortunate in that we
balanced our budget by controlling our spending, and continuing to commit scarce resources to
our Police Department. We will continue to work to reduce crime in Springfield. And, we are
gratified to know that Springfield is not anywhere near the top of the list of most dangerous
cities in America,” Houston added.
The top Ten cities according to 24/7 Wall Street are Flint,
Michigan; Detroit; St. Louis, Missouri; Oakland, California; Memphis, Tennessee;
Little Rock, Arkansas; Birmingham, Alabama; Atlanta, Georgia; Baltimore,
Maryland and Stockton, California.