Ocean View named second-safest city in the state

Date Published: 
Sept. 29, 2017

For the last two years, the Town of Ocean View has been named the second-safest city in Delaware by SafeWise.

According to its website, SafeWise is an “independent review and comparison website dedicated to providing consumers with comparison tools, information, and educational materials about home security systems, home security monitoring, and home security techniques.”

The Town of Ocean View was ranked second, below only Clayton, with violent crimes at 0.49 per 1,000 people and property crimes at 13.85 per 1,000 people.

The company uses up-to-date data through the Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program. They also determine a population threshold based on the state’s population.

They then take the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) in each city and calculate the likelihood of those crimes occurring out of 1,000 people in each city.

Clayton’s figure for violent crimes per 1,000 was 2.25, and its stat for property crimes per 1,000 was 9.96.

“What I like to point out is we may be No. 2 when it comes to property crimes per 1,000, but we are certainly the No. 1 town,” said Ocean View Police Chief Ken McLaughlin. “Clayton has 2.2 violent crimes per 1,000, where we have .15 per 1.000. So, if you look at violent crimes, we are absolutely, by a long shot, the safest community.

“I think that’s important to point out. It’s something I like our residents to know. … Every time we have a petty theft, that kind of counts against us. But when you’re talking about rapes, robberies, murders, serious assaults, we are way below the next closest community.”

The rankings in Delaware from high to low were, Clayton, Ocean View, Elsmere, Bridgeville, Newark, Milton, Delaware City, Lewes, Middletown and Smyrna.

McLaughlin credited his department for the ranking, noting that his officers are very proactive.

“One-hundred percent of the credit goes to the patrol officers working in the police department. They’re out there every day, every evening, actively patrolling the town and deterring criminal activity,” he said.

“The criminal element is here — it’s everywhere. It’s as prevalent in Ocean View probably as it is in any other community. It’s here. The fact that we have well-trained officers, are able to staff our department 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with the officers out there, aggressively patrolling the community, it does have a huge deterrent effect.”

He added that holding the second-safest ranking also has a great deal to do with the Ocean View community.

“The other thing that helps us is we have a great working relationship with the public. We count on and get a lot of support and help in our crime-fighting initiatives from the public. People call us and talk to us. They’re not afraid to walk into the police department and report something suspicious. That plays into it as well.”

The department’s partners in the community also include its numerous businesses.

“We have businesses here who maintain a zero tolerance on stuff like shoplifting and petty crimes, whereas in some communities it doesn’t even get reported. They report them here, and we make arrests. Then word gets out: You come here and do that, you’re going to get arrested and locked up.

“Plus, the average citizen of Ocean View is a good, law-abiding individual,” added McLaughlin. “We’re extremely fortunate here.”

McLaughlin said that, in their growing community, his department is working hard to maintain and enhance the coverage they offer those in town — from making sure their officers are well-trained to community outreach events, such as the Cops & Goblins Halloween event and daily visits with Lord Baltimore Elementary School students, which he said lays a “good foundation of support between these future adults and police.”

“It’s a perfect storm, and the end result is the community gets a good return on their investment — the financial investment they make into the police department.”

To view the rankings, visit www.safewise.com/blog/safest-cities-delaware.