Based on FBI crime statistics, Arizona is the 17th most dangerous state in the United States. Arizonans may think of the state as relatively safe, but the statistics say otherwise.
A lot of the crime is drug-related, with Arizona having a high usage of heroin and other opioids, which leads to an increase in crime.
Even more surprising, considering the demographics of the Arizona population, is the increase in hate crimes. Federal data shows a big surge in hare crimes- in 2020, it represented an increase of 26% over 2019. On a per-capita basis, it meant an increase of 40%, from 2.34 hate crimes per 100,000 residents to 3.27.
So with that background, let's see the 3 cities that top the crime list and are the 3 most dangerous cities in Arizona.
Globe is a city in Gila County, Arizona, founded in 1875 as a mining camp. It used to be known as a safe city-however that reputation is long gone. When work at the mines decreased, the crimes in the city increased.
Dale Walters is the man in charge of reducing crime. He took over as Glendale police chief in 2019, following the resignation of two police chiefs in 2018.
"We addressed some of the pending issues that were facing the department when I immediately got here. I understand the importance of proper policies and procedures and training, and we're working on establishing standards and policies." Dale Walters
Tolleson is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, incorporated in 1929 and named after its founder W.G. Tolleson. The town is small and pretty but isn't very safe. In fact, much like the residents of Globe, anyone living in Tolleson has a 1 in 11 residents chance of being a victim of a property crime within the city limits.
Property crime is particularly rampant in this community, and it is 318 percent above the national average. Violent crime is 119% above average.
The person looking to reduce Tolleson crime is Rudy Mendoza, who took over as Chief of Police in Tolleson in January this year.
“Over the past twenty years, the Tolleson Police Department has continued to grow and improve. This certainly can be attributed to the wonderful people we have working here as well as my two predecessors, Chief Rodriguez and Chief Booher. Through their leadership they have raised the bar and expectations for the police department." Rudy Mendoza upon his appointment.
Tolleson City Manager Reyes Medrano Jr. said Mendoza “is more than prepared to meet the challenge.”
Page is a city in Coconino County, Arizona, near the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell. Its location close to national parks makes it very popular for tourists.
Unfortunately, Page is also popular for crimes which place it third on Arizona's most dangerous cities list. There is a 1 in 95 chance of being violently attacked in Page.
There is some good news for the people of Page- unlike other cities in Arizona, the crime rate is actually decreasing. Crimes dropped by 8% last year. However, there is still a long way to go as violent crimes In Page are still 174 percent higher than the national average.
In terms of big cities, Tucson ranks as the 5th most dangerous city in Arizona, while Phoenix is ranked 8th and Glendale 9th. Phoenix, Mesa, and Chandler all saw significant increases in homicides in 2020 while. Scottsdale and Maricopa County also saw increases, though not as large.
What can be done to reduce crime?
If you want to make yourself safer and help reduce your chance of being a victim of crime, there are resources available. The City of Phoenix website has a range of tips.
The National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice looked at violent crime in 34 cities. and made three key recommendation in its report to reduce crime
1. Beat the COVID-19 outbreak quickly as it causes social and economic strife that increase crime
2. Restore community trust in police and the justice system, following protests across 2020 over police misconduct.
3. Implement programs that have been proven to reduce crime in urban areas.
There is still more to be done, not only within the police department but through a coordinated effort across the community. Jeri Williams, Police Chief Phoenix
Let us all hope that crime can be reduced not only in the three cities above but across Arizona and the United States.