A frequent reader recently shared with me a new safest city list published online. Unlike the CQ list, this one shows that El Paso is actually 37 on the list. In the 2016 Safest Cities in America list published by Niche, Naperville, Illinois is number one. In Texas, Round Rock (4), Plano (14), Richardson (22), Denton (28), McAllen (31) and Irving (36) beat El Paso on the list.
Niche creates the list from 277 cities tracked by the FBI Uniform Crime Report. The same report used by other publications that the FBI specifically tells it readers not use it for ranking cities based on crime indicators. Obviously no one is listening.
I fully expect the city’s apologists to jump right in and point out that the list includes cities that are not in the “largest” city’s category and if those were excluded, El Paso would again be in the top-three.
Of course that ignores the fundamental problem that is the list. It is based on statistics that specifically tell the readers that it they are not intended for ranking cities based on crime.
However, that doesn’t stop the propagandists from using them anyway.
Like all propaganda, if it doesn’t produce the result they are after they do not use the list. That is why you reading about this list here and not in the city’s official outlets.
But like all statistics, when scrutinized, the numbers paint a picture that is inconvenient for the city.
Look closely at the crime rates detail.
Did you notice the “assault” metric?
It is higher than the national average. Rapes are also higher than the national average.
Using the same statistics that the “safest” cities lists use and the same metrics that El Paso uses; the numbers do not show a safest city. Instead, assaults and rapes are higher than the national averages.
How does that make El Paso one of the safest cities in the nation?