The Logan, Utah-Idaho, metropolitan area is once again near the top of the list of the nation's safest communities, according to the latest "City Crime Rankings" report. And two other Utah cities ranked in the top 10.
The metro area placed second for least reported crime in 2010 - up from fifth place in 2009.
Each year, the CQ Press, a publisher of research, U.S. government and world affairs information, compiles the country's safest and least safest cities and metro areas.
According to the report, cities are places with 75,000 inhabitants, metro areas are defined as clusters of communities with at least 100,000 residents.
Glenn Falls, N.Y., is the safest metro area on the list; Provo-Orem ranked fourth, and St. George came in ninth. Among the most dangerous metropolitan areas in the nation, according to the report, are: Detroit, Mich.; Pine Bluff, Ark.; and Memphis, Tenn.
The Logan metro area topped CQ's list In 2007 and 2008 and was ranked as the safest place to raise an LDS family in 2009 by a separate research firm in Illinois.
CQ analysts say their rankings are calculated using six crime categories: Murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and motor vehicle theft.
Law enforcement agencies across the nation report crime data to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program, which is used to compile CQ's list.
The authors caution that crime rankings are sometimes considered controversial.
"Crime levels are affected by many different factors," they write. "Accordingly, crime rankings often are deemed ‘simplistic' or ‘incomplete.'"
Factors including climate, economic conditions, strength of local law enforcement agencies and citizen's attitudes toward crime affect crime levels, they write.
Overall, however, local police and government officials say this area's high marks come from a combination of quality police work and a dedicated citizenry.
"Our law enforcement officers take their job seriously," said Logan's assistant police chief Jeff Curtis. "And the citizens in the community take their role of keeping this a safe place to live very seriously as well."
Curtis said residents in Cache Valley want a safe atmosphere and aren't afraid to report crime when they see it.
"People in the community take a strong stand and make sure the police agencies are aware of everything that's going on," he said. "As a result, our valley is a safe place to live."
Logan Mayor Randy Watts agrees.
"It really comes down to the citizens," he said. "We're a community where if people see something inappropriate, instead of closing their eyes, they get involved."
At a Glance
Metropolitan areas with least crime reported
1. Glenn Falls, N.Y.
2. Logan, Utah-Idaho
3. State College, Penn.
4. Provo-Orem, Utah
5. Appleton, Wis.
6. Rockingham County, N.H. Md.
7. Eau Claire, Wis.
8. Edison, N.J.-Md.
9. St. George, Utah
10. Harrisonburg, Va.
Cities with least crime reported
1. Colonie, N.Y.
2. O'Fallon, Mo.
3. Ramapo, N.Y.
4. Mission Viejo, Calif.
5. Clarkstown, N.Y.
6. Amherst, N.Y.
7. Lake Forest, Calif.
8. Cary, N.C.
9. Newton, Mass.
10. Irvine, Calif.
Cities with most crime reported
1. St. Louis, Mo.
2. Camden N.J.
3. Detroit, Mich.
4. Flint, Mich.
5. Oakland, Calif.
6. Richmond, Calif.
7. Cleveland, Ohio
8. Compton Calif.
9. Gary, Ind.
10. Birmingham, Ala.
Source: CQ Press. Cities have 75,000 inhabitants or more, metropolitan areas have 100,000 inhabitants or more.