by Dennis Dalman
Sauk Rapids ranked number 35 in a list of the safest of 129 Minnesota cities as rated by ValuePenguin, a consumer research firm. Among cities in the medium-sized-town category, Sauk Rapids ranked eighth.
Of the 129 cities, Hibbing was named the safest city in the state, with Cold Spring second and St. Joseph third.
The ratings staff gave commentaries only for the top five cities. This is what they had say to about Cold Spring and St. Joseph:
“The least populous among our top five, Cold Spring’s second-place finish is due to its lack of violent crimes, with just one. The city’s average home value, $149,945, is actually 15 percent less than the state’s average. Locals here have much to take pride in beyond their safety record. They have a strong argument to make that they’re the granite capital of the world, plus their award-winning brewery dates back to 1874.”
“Just 10 miles northeast of Cold Spring, St. Joseph ranks fourth despite reporting 40 property crimes in 2013. The city’s seven-officer police department stresses the importance of community policing. The city has long been affected by one mysterious (unsolved) violent crime: the 1989 abduction of then-11-year-old Jacob Wetterling.”
The ratings of Minnesota cities by ValuePenguin were based on the latest crime statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Both violent crimes and property crimes were added to ValuePenguin’s rating system, which assigned points from 0 to 4,000, with the safest cities having the lower number of points. Hibbing, the safest city, had a point total of 55. Sauk Rapids scored 510.
Cold Spring’s rating was 119, St Joseph’s 166.
Of the 129 cities rated, St. Paul and Minneapolis were on the very bottom of the list. St. Paul’s score was 2,857; the Minneapolis score was 3,934.
Other central Minnesota cities that made the list are St. Cloud, number 120 with a score of 1,860; and Waite Park, number 127 with a score of 2,670.
The ValuePenguin analysis rated the 129 cities also by category: large cities, medium cities, small cities. Sartell ranked fifth among the 10 safest cities in the medium-sized city category, and Sauk Rapids ranked eighth in that category. St. Joseph ranked second of the top 10 in the small-town category.