Lawrence received a boost in an annual crime rankings report — improving to the 114th-safest metropolitan area in 2007 compared with the city’s ranking of 166th-safest in 2006.
The city’s ranking improved based on the 2007 crime statistics, when no homicides occurred in the city. CQ Press releases the annual rankings of 385 U.S. metropolitan areas based on how many murders, rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries and motor vehicle thefts are reported.
New Orleans had the highest crime rate ranking, followed by Camden, N.J., Detroit, St. Louis and Oakland. Ramapo, N.Y., ranked as the safest metropolitan area.
Other Kansas cities on the list, from most safe to least were: Overland Park, 39; Topeka, 238; Wichita, 295; and Kansas City, Kan., 344.
CQ Press in 2007 purchased the Lawrence-based Morgan Quitno Press publishing firm. The firm's owners, Scott and Kathleen Morgan, of Lawrence, developed the formula that uses FBI crime data. The Morgans are still editors of the annual rankings.
The rankings have often had critics, including city and chambers of commerce leaders across the country who say they are alarmist. The FBI also cautions against using data for comparison among cities. In a statement from CQ Press, the company acknowledged that many factors contribute to crime levels but the rankings allow community leaders to track crime trends annually.
Lawrence had no homicides in 2007, but next year’s rankings will include the four homicides reported in the city so far this year.