CBS 5 Investigates: The safest cities in the Valley

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The streets of Buckeye carry a distinction. They are among the safest in the Valley, because Buckeye has the overall lowest violent crime rate of any Valley city, according to an analysis of FBI crime data conducted by CBS 5 Investigates.

“We are very proud of the personnel that have assisted in this,” said Buckeye Police Chief Larry Hall. He credits an open line of communication between his officers and the community.

Across the Valley, the city of Tempe is dealing with unique challenges. During the day and during special events, Tempe’s population increases by as much as 60 percent. But the number of police officers remains at a level consistent with the city’s official population.

“With increased population, crime can also increase,” said Tempe Police Sgt. Ron Elcock. Tempe’s violent crime rate is second highest in the Valley.

Elcock says his department relies on innovations in technology to help position officers where they are needed most. One tool is the Crime and Intelligence Center.

[THE VISUAL: The big picture | Another way of looking at the numbers]

The city of Phoenix, which has the largest population in the Valley and the highest violent crime rate, has also seen its overall crime rates drop over the past two decades.

The Phoenix Police Department recently used a grant to purchase a piece of technology its officers believe will help solve violent crimes faster. It’s a tool to help detectives analyze crime guns.

[OVER THE YEARS: Phoenix and Tempe, the most dangerous Valley cities, 2000-2016]

[VIDEO: Are we safer than we were 10 years ago?]

“Previously, if we had a detective find a gun that was used in a crime, it could take them several weeks to have that gun handed off to a scientist for test fire and analysis. Now we can do it in a matter of hours,” said Phoenix Police Sgt. Jonathan Howard.

With the exception of a bump in 2016, the violent crime rate across the Valley has dropped steadily for at least the past 15 years, according to the FBI crime data. 

[MAP: The cities]

Charts

Total violent crime | Murder, non-negligent manslaughter | Rape | Robbery | Aggravated Assault | The big picture | Another way of looking at the numbers | Phoenix and Tempe 2000-2016

The top 2 most dangerous Valley cities: Phoenix and Tempe

APP USERS: Click here for chart


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Morgan  LoewMorgan Loew is an investigative reporter at CBS 5 News. His career has taken him to every corner of the state, lots of corners in the United States, and some far-flung corners of the globe.

Click to learn more about Morgan .

Morgan Loew
CBS 5 Investigates

Morgan’s past assignments include covering the invasion of Iraq, human smuggling in Mexico, vigilantes on the border and Sheriff Arpaio in Maricopa County. His reports have appeared or been featured on CBS News, CNN, NBC News, MSNBC and NPR.

Morgan’s peers have recognized his work with 11 Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards , two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for investigative reporting, an SPJ First Amendment Award and a commendation from the Humane Society of the United States. Last fall, Morgan was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle, in recognition of 25 years of contribution to the television industry in Arizona.

Morgan is a graduate of the University of Arizona journalism school and Concord Law School. He is the president of the Arizona First Amendment Coalition and teaches media law and TV news reporting at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

When he’s not out looking for the next big news story, Morgan enjoys hiking, camping, cheering for the Arizona Wildcats and spending time with his family at their southern Arizona ranch.

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