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Palos Hills ranked among safest cities in Illinois

  • Written by Bob Bong

Palos Hills is one of the safest communities in Illinois, according to a list compiled by home security website SafeWise.

The web-based company, which provides consumers with information about home security systems, monitoring and techniques, based its current list of the 50 safest municipalities in Illinois (population of 5,000 or more) on the FBI’s 2015 crime report.

Palos Hills is ranked 21st on the list. More than a dozen communities among the top 50 are found in Cook County, including Palos Heights (No. 17).

“Over the last four or five years there are some publications that have us listed on being low on crime,” said Palos Hills Mayor Gerald Bennett. “We’ve been ranked as low as 10th on some lists. A lot of it has to do with the residents of our community. They are outstanding citizens who help to keep (Palos Hills) a great place to live. They work with us.”

Hickory Hills is among the top 100 safest cities with a ranking of 84, according to SafeWise.

The average violent crime rate among the top 50 towns on the SafeWise list was 86 percent lower than the national average. Palos Heights was among the communities on the list that cited no violent crimes at all. The state’s 50 safest cities reported one murder, 67 robberies, and fewer than 300 aggravated assaults.

Property crime rates were also exceptionally low among these safest communities. No municipality cited more than nine property crimes per 1,000 residents — with the average rate being about six crimes per 1,000 people. That’s 77 percent lower than the national average.

Several communities moved up the list compared to last year, especially Palos Heights, which ranked as the 86th safest city in the state in 2016 and now ranks 17th. Willow Springs moved up to ninth from 15th.

Bennett believes that it is a community effort that attributes to Palos Hills’ low ranking in crime.

“We don’t have a lot of crime but when we do, our Palos Hills police force and detectives do a great job and solve most of these crimes.”

SafeWise evaluated the remaining communities. The list included the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) in each municipality. To level the playing field, SafeWise calculated the likelihood of these crimes occurring out of 1,000 people in each city.

The list does not include towns with fewer than 5,000 residents as well as any that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI.

Contributing to this report was Joe Boyle.