Ephrata ranked ninth on list of safe places

By on September 24, 2014

Ephrata is a safe place to call home.
That is according to a recent top ten list published on the Movoto Real Estate Blog listing the Borough of Ephrata as No. 9 on its list of safest places in Pennsylvania.
“Announcements like this are a stimulus for the housing and real estate industry and a boost for tourism,” said police Chief William Harvey. “More important, the same data is reviewed by the insurance industry, which has a direct correlation on your home owners/renters insurance rates, therefore everyone wins.”
Mayor Ralph Mowen thinks the honor is something of which Ephrata can really be proud.
“I have always said that our police department is one of the best in the state/country,” he said. “This just reinforces that belief. This honor is a result to the dedication, professionalism and hard work of the department.
“It is also an indication of the quality of people we have living in the borough,” Mowen said.
The announcement came the same week a man barricaded himself here, but Harvey said the incident came to a peaceful resolution without the more serious/aggravated violent crimes and multiple victims as so many of these incidents can cascade into.
“It sent a sound message that we (all of Ephrata) take criminality serious,” he said. “It is a team effort.”
Mowen said he was not happy about the incident that involved a non-resident.
“But nobody was hurt,” he said. “and we are safe.”
According to the blog, in 2012, Ephrata had the 15th and 16th lowest number of property crimes and violent crimes, respectively, making it one of the safest places in the state.
Specifically, Ephrata had 2,114 property crimes per 100,000 residents, which included 44 vehicle thefts, 1,796 thefts and 274 burglaries.
It also had a reported 207 violent crimes per 100,000 people, including 111 assaults, 74 robberies, 22 rapes and no murders.
That’s almost 10 times less violent crimes per 100,000 people than the City of Chester, which came in as the most violent in the places that were looked at.
To arrive at the list, the group began by gathering a list of all the places in Pennsylvania with populations of 10,000 people or more, which left them with a total of 59 places. Then, they used the 2012 FBI Uniform Crime Report to collect crime data on each place for the following criteria: Murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, theft and vehicle theft.
Those crimes were then divided into four categories: Murders, violent crimes, property crimes and total crimes.
From there, the crime rates were calculated for each place per 100,000 people to more fairly compare places with larger populations to those with smaller populations. Then each place was ranked in each category from one to 59, with the lower numbers meaning safer places.
Finally, each category was weighted so that murders, violent crimes, and property crimes accounted for 30 percent of the overall score, while total crimes made up 10 percent. These adjusted rankings were averaged into one overall Big Deal Score, where the lowest score was the safest place.
The final list is:
1. Township of South Park
2. Borough of Franklin Park
3. City of Lower Burrell
4. Borough of Elizabethtown
5. Borough of Emmaus (tie)
5. Borough of Waynesboro (tie)
7. Borough of State College
8. Borough of Plum
9. Borough of Ephrata
10. City of Greensburg



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