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Muskego among safest cities in Wisconsin, security group says

May 30, 2014

Muskego — Muskego ranked as the 13th safest city in Wisconsin in this year's SafeWise Report naming the state's 50 safest cities.

SafeWise is a community-focused security organization. The SafeWise Report provides resources to help make homes and communities safer.

To compile its list, SafeWise used the most recent FBI crime data from 2012 to analyze and rank cities of at least 5,000 population.

The report calculated crimes per thousand of population and concluded in part:

"Even though it is the fourth most highly populated city on our list, Muskego still boasts one of the lowest violent crimes rates" with a violent crimes ratio of 0.16 incidents per 1,000 persons. It's property crimes ratio is 10.02 per 1,000 persons.

Data was analyzed from the FBI Unified Crime Report (UCR) which focuses on violent crimes (aggravated assault, forcible rape, murder and robbery) as well as property crimes (arson, burglary, theft-larceny and motor vehicle theft).

"Citizen cooperation is part of the reason we are as successful as we are," said Lt. David Constantineau, police public information officer. "We are close to a big metropolitan area, and we do not have the crime that some have and it is due in part to partnering with the community."

But there are still some people who don't call police if they see something suspicious.

"That's frustrating to hear 'I didn't want to bother you,'" Constantineau said. "We would rather be called to something that turns out to be a misunderstanding than not be able to prevent something if we had been called right away."

"Safety is the number one thing, and the police department does an excellent job under Chief Moser," said Muskego Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti. "Our police department does a good job in community outreach and getting the involvement of our citizens, which plays a major role in this.

"It's important for citizens to pay attention to what's going on in their neighborhoods and tip off the police, that's prevention."

There were only four violent crimes in Muskego in 2012, according to the UCR report — one robbery, two aggravated assaults and a forcible rape. Generally, rape victims in Muskego know their attackers, as opposed to women walking down the street being assaulted, Constantineau said.

That kind of crime in the streets is extremely rare in Muskego, he said.

The number of violent crimes is so small that one or two incidents can have a dramatic impact on the city's crime rate. The number of violent crime incidents has jumped as high as 10 in the latest five years of available data.

But even at 10 incidents, Muskego still would have been comfortably in the top 50 safest cities. But it might have been more in the neighborhood of Mount Horeb, which ranked 38th on the list.

In the most recent five years of data, a striking rise in thefts occurred between 2008 and 2009. It's hard to account for that, Constantineau said.

The rise coincides with the rise in heroin use, and users are desperate, Constantineau said.

"They steal anything that's not nailed down for drugs," he said. "It used to be shoplifting was done by 15-year-old kids who wanted a CD, now it's drug addicts who steal high-end things."

Burglaries are a different story, having gone up and down in the most recent five years of data.

"It does go in cycles," Constantineau said. Often burglars hit multiple times in one community and then move on to another, he said.

Muskego seems to be in for an average year in terms of burglaries, he said. So far this year, 17 burglaries have been reported, but a couple of those are instances where a person is legally inside a home such as for a party and have taken things, he said.

Muskego adds the honor of being named 13th safest city in Wisconsin to being named best city in Wisconsin for young families and fifth most affordable cities in the state, Chiaverotti said.

UNIFORM CRIME STATISTICS FOR MUSKEGO
20082009201020112012
Population23,02523,44024,13524,24024,249
VIOLENT CRIME TOTAL410974
Murder00000
Forcible rape33331
Robbery15111
Aggravated assault02532
PROPERTY CRIME TOTAL158236254234243
Burglary3860384152
Theft/larceny110173208188181
Motor vehicle theft1038510

Source: Uniform Crime Statistics submitted to the FBI annually.


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