Somerset named 'safest city' in Kentucky

The website BackgroundChecks.org has named Somerset the safest city in Kentucky.

The website describes itself primarily as a portal for conducting free background checks and helping to find public records.

For an article ranking the safest cities within Kentucky, the site states that it used Federal Bureau of Investigations crime statistics to rank all cities with a population of more than 10,000.

The site states, "We then calculated violent crime rates and property crime rates by dividing the crime numbers by the population to get rates per 1,000 [people]. We also calculated the ratio of law enforcement workers to per 1,000 [people]. These were weighted with -50% for the violent crime rate, -25% for the property crime rate, and +25% for the law enforcement rate. The resulting metric gave us a the safety index score. The higher this number more safe the city is."

Somerset's score is 1.08, with Madisonville holding the second highest score at 0.73.

The rest of the top five are: Lawrenceburg with a score of 0.5; Fort Thomas with 0.43; and Erlanger with 0.40.

In comparison, the lowest ranked city on the list was Louisville Metro, with a score of -0.81.

The report said that Somerset logged 23 violent crimes in 2017.

William Hunt, chief of the Somerset Police Department, said he was "extremely proud" of the designation.

"This report supports the statement I have made for several years - Somerset is a very safe city when you compare us to the rest of the commonwealth," Hunt said.

"Sometimes people have a hard time realizing this because they want to compare Somerset to what Somerset was 25 years ago. Somerset has changed, just as the rest of our state, nation and world."

Hunt said the report doesn't mention two important factors. "We have terrific law enforcement in our area, and I am very proud of the job our department provides. In addition to police, all our emergency services help to keep this community safe."

"The other factor that helps us achieve such a ranking is the people of this community. Without our community partnerships we could not achieve such an accomplishment. It's the good citizens of Somerset who help us to solve and prevent crime every day."

Somerset Mayor Alan Keck also responded to the report, saying, "I was thrilled and thankful to learn that Somerset was named the safest city in Kentucky by the independent third party Backgroundchecks.org. This achievement is a huge testament to the amazing work put in by Chief William Hunt and the entire Somerset Police department.

"We recognize we still have work to do and areas to improve on, but this undeniably shows we are moving in the right direction. My office will continue to value, appreciate, and support each of the critical components of our emergency services and public safety officials as we continue to build our beloved community."

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