Warwick ranks as 22nd best-run, least violent city
There is no American city safer than Warwick, Rhode Island when it comes to incidents of violent crime, according to the 2017 “Best & Worst-Run Cities” report released by personal finance and consumer data analytics website, Wallethub, on July 10. Overall, Warwick ranked as the 22nd best-run city in the country.
Based on FBI data, Warwick had fewer instances of violent crime relative to its population than any other city, with just 0.81 violent crimes per 1,000 residents, which has lowered since last year’s rate of 1.02 per 1,000 residents. Warwick also ranked 8th in the nation in property crime, with just 19.16 incidents per 1,000 residents.
“I think it’s a positive comment for the constituents, for all our representatives. It’s a team effort from my perspective,” said Warwick Police Chief, Stephen McCartney. “[Warwick citizens] don’t like to put up with the nonsense of criminal activity going on in their respective neighborhoods...they work with us and they’re very cooperative.”
McCartney said that the department meets monthly to analyze crime in the city, and reported that the property crime rate was down an additional 11 percent from last month. He mentioned that, while praising the professionalism of Warwick and their continued emphasis on engaging and interacting positively with the community, the city has also simply experienced some good luck in terms of violent crime in recent years.
“Fortunately for us we just haven’t been afflicted with the kinds of things that are happening in other cities,” he said. “I’ve seen other cities that are starting to experience that problem and they’re doing just about everything they can [to prevent it].”
McCartney said that, due to the low number of violent crimes that occur in the city, police are able to focus on smaller crimes – like property crimes – that help keep crime down across the board.
“If you stay after the little things, when you’re proactive, you keep away the real bad problems,” he said.
Warwick also ranked as the second best city in terms of the percentage of its residents who live in poverty, although Wallethub did not provide a specific percentage for this ranking. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Warwick had an estimated 7 percent poverty rate in 2015, compared to a 13.5 percent national average in the same year.
These two high rankings in crime and poverty factored greatly into Warwick being named the 22nd overall best-run city out of a study of 150 of the United States’ largest cities, which factored and graded six categories including financial stability, education, health, safety, economy and infrastructure/pollution.
Each category was graded utilizing a total of 33 metrics, and each metric was scored utilizing data points such as the city’s credit rating to assess its financial stability, the high school graduate rate to assess a score for educational quality and the quality of the public hospital system as ranked by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ to assess its health ranking.
While Warwick scored very well in safety, poverty, economy (11th) and the overall score – being one of only two New England cities, alongside Nashua, NH, to be listed in the top 25 – it did not perform well in all categories. Warwick was ranked 63rd in education, 98th in health, 95th for infrastructure and pollution and bottomed out at 110th in financial stability [as factor relating to community debt and bond rating]. In relation to nearby cities, however, Warwick scored well overall. Boston ranked 79th overall and Providence ranked 83rd.
“These accomplishments are no doubt a reflection of the dedicated men and women working to ensure our community is the best and safest place to live, work and raise a family,” said Mayor Scott Avedisian. “As always, my administration is deeply committed to ensuring that Warwick residents remain proud to call this city their home. I applaud all those who made these ranking possible. Your service and dedication is deeply appreciated.”