Columbia on ‘safest cities’ list


The National Council for Home Safety and Security ranked Columbia at ninth on its latest list of “Safest Cities in Illinois.”

Columbia is the only city in the top 50 from the metro-east.

“This is because of all the hard work of our officers, detectives and 911 operators,” Columbia Police Chief Jerry Paul said.

Columbia reported eight violent crimes and 73 property crimes in the past year, according to the list.

For the full list, go to

FBI crime statistics were reviewed to come up with the “safest cities” list, computing the total number of crimes reported by each city by adding violent crimes and property crimes.

Cities were then rated using population to create a crime rate as the number of crimes per 1,000 residents. Then, the total crime rate variable was transformed so the final number became a score between 0 and 1.

Next, a police adequacy variable (total crimes per number of police employees) was factored in. This number was also transformed to result in a score between 0 and 1.

These two scores were combined to create a safety score for each city.

Last year, Waterloo ranked fourth on the list, which was down slightly from the top overall ranking in 2017.

Columbia, which did not crack the top 50 in 2017, ranked 19th on last year’s list.

“We’re all blessed to live here in Monroe County,” Paul said. “It’s a successful partnership we have with the people who live here. We count on them to call us and they trust us to provide help.”

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