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Website names Winchester as one of state’s safest cities

Winchester is one of Kentucky’s 25 safest cities for crime and financial safety, according to one website.

Information recently published by www.safety.com places Winchester 21st on its overall list. The city was also ranked fourth for public safety and 25th for financial safety.

The website used available federal data for crime and socioeconomic information to arrive at an overall score.

Winchester Police Chief Kevin Palmer said the data sounds good, but was not a surprise.

“I was pleased to see it, but I could have told anyone that,” he said. “Our major crimes were where they should be for a community our size.”

Five or six years ago, Palmer said another survey ranked Winchester as one of the most dangerous communities in Kentucky. In that year’s data were two double homicides, he said, which skewed the data. The other major crime data, he said, were comparable.

“It threw us off the chart because we had four homicides,” he said. “I take the good with the bad. I do consider our town to be safe even in the years when we make the bad list.”

Safety.com said it used the FBI’s 2018 annual crime report data as well as information from the U.S. Census, the 2019 America’s Health Rankings and the 2014 Insurance Journal Risk of Damage from Natural Hazards report. It also factored in access to health care and to the Internet.

The FBI, on its website, cautioned against using its annual crime data to rank crime in communities or states.

“Each year when Crime in the United States is published, some entities use the figures to compile rankings of cities and counties,” the FBI wrote. “These rough rankings provide no insight into the numerous variables that mold crime in a particular state, county, city, town, tribal area, or region. Consequently, they lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting communities and their residents. … The data user is, therefore, cautioned against comparing crime data of individual reporting units from states, metropolitan areas, cities, or colleges or universities solely on the basis of their population coverage or student enrollment.”

Among surrounding communities, Berea was ranked 12th overall, Paris 31st, Nicholasville 24th and Wilmore 12th. Frankfort was 16th.

Lexington and Richmond were not in the top 50.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0051.

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