My home town of Newton, MA was rated the safest city in the US. And for the second time, no less! What I think is funny is that this CNN article focuses on the list of most dangerous cities; I suppose a low crime rate just isn’t interesting.

It makes me wonder though, what the crime rate in Newton actually is. According to the rating organization‘s executive summary:

the “Safest City Award is based on a city’s rate for six basic crime categories: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and motor vehicle theft.”

Funny, I’d have thought that the Chestnut Hill mall parking lot was the most likely place in America to have your car stolen.

Of course, they’re not counting things like drug-related offenses, disturbing the peace (e.g., the cops busting up teenagers’ parties that got too loud), truancy, loitering on street corners; I could go on. Ah, my misspent youth. Doesn’t seem to have hurt me none though.

Still, I and all of my family and most of my friends move away and the town becomes the safest in the US? Coincidence?

In high school my friends and I used to say that Newton was a great place to raise your kids but I wouldn’t want to grow up there. In retrospect though, Newton was actually a great place to grow up: safe (clearly), good schools, a stone’s throw from Boston. We thought it was boring at the time, but of course that was before I lived in Syracuse, NY for five years. And my best friend from high school now lives in Wheaton, IL. And boy, let me tell you, growing up in either of those places would have sucked so much worse. I guess everyone hates their home town when they’re sixteen.