By TERRY GROOVER
Yukon continues to be one of the safest cities in Oklahoma, according to a new report released this week by a national website.
Backgroundcheck.com has listed Yukon as the third safest city in Oklahoma. Weatherford and Elk City top the list.
The report, which is based off statistics provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, found that Canadian County had three of the top 10 safest cities in the state.
Yukon was ranked No. 3, followed at No. 5 by El Reno. Mustang is ranked at No. 8.
According to the survey, the violent crime rate for Yukon is less than a third of the Oklahoma rate.
Yukon’s safety index was calculated at 0.45.
El Reno posted a rate that is equal to 2.77 violent crimes per 1,000 citizens, the report found. Its safety index was 0.31.
Mustang had an index of 0.3.
Yukon Police Chief John Corn announced the results of the survey during the Yukon City Council meeting on Tuesday.
“It is always good news if you can rank in the upper five to 10 cities. We know our violent crime tendencies are not very high. We don’t have a lot of calls for action or calls that are being classified in that category,” Corn said.
The police chief said Yukon does have its share of property crimes. Those include things like larceny or vandalism.
“Those tend to rule the majority of property crimes,” he said.
Corn said he wasn’t surprised by the results.
A different company issued similar findings last year.
“We always seem to stay around that No. 2 or No. 3 spot depending on what they use for their criteria,” he said.
Corn said that while Yukon is growing, much of the crime is actually occurring in the area south of Yukon that is in Oklahoma City.
“That tends to bring an element to your community that you wouldn’t normally expect. Any time you have an area that is developed for commerce, it can easily be targeted by people who want to break into cars or steal purses or look for the unlocked door,” Corn said. “All those things will go up.”
Thus, Corn said he had been surprised there hasn’t been a larger influx of property crimes.
“We will see it. Hopefully, in such a manner that it is manageable for us. We still have very quick response time within our city,” he said.
“We will see how some of the growth with some of the new commerce areas changes any of that,” Corn said.
Another factor, the chief said, is that the community is involved and aware of what is going on in their neighborhoods.
Corn said neighbors tend to know who should and shouldn’t be in their area, and they aren’t afraid to contact police if something seems amiss.
“That’s very good for public places … but even in their neighborhoods and around schools. It has been very good to have the citizen input we have,” he said.
Yukon Mayor Michael McEachern said community involvement is the key to the city’s success.
“It says a lot about the people living in the community and how much the people care about the community. Community involvement is second to none,” the mayor said. “If you are going to have a good police force, community involvement is critical.”
“Here, it means the people do care and, consequentally, we can enforce our laws pretty effectively. I feel we live in a great community,”McEachern said.