To identify the safest cities in Iowa, the National Council for Home Safety and Security reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with their own population data and internal research. They eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 10,000.
The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 1,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 1.5 of the total (due to their severity) than property crimes.
The safest city in Iowa is Norwalk, according to the report. That city’s police department said, “Because of an awesome community of responsible and proactive residents, Norwalk is now the Safest City in Iowa.” Pella and North Liberty were second and third, respectively.
Mason City is ranked 27th. Comparably, Fort Dodge is 29th and Marshalltown is 23rd.
“I think that the numbers reflect what we have been saying about Mason City,” Chief of Mason City Police Jeff Brinkley tells NIT. “We have low violent crime (1.36 per 1,000) compared to many cities of similar size. Our property crime rate is a little higher than some cities that are similarly sized. At the end of the day, I think violent crime is the deciding factor for residents when they think about quality of life. By that measure, we are fourth on this list. Mason City is a safe place to live and raise a family.”
The National Council for Home Safety and Security is a national trade association comprised of licensed alarm installers, contractors, and other relevant trade groups across the United States. Their stated goal is to further industry education and public knowledge about home safety and security.