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Research firm names city as state’s safest
By Michael d’Oliveira Special correspondent

   Out of all the Florida cities with populations of 5,000 or higher, Parkland was named the safest in the state by ValuePenguin.   ValuePenguin, a personal finance company that conducts research and analysis on a variety of topics, based its decision on crime statistics provided by the FBI in 2014.

Weston was named the third safest city.   In 2015, according to statistics provided by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Parkland had one of lowest levels of reported crimes in Broward County – 1 robbery, 1 aggravated assault, 24 burglaries, 68 cases of larceny and 3 vehicle thefts.  

Parkland Mayor Michael Udine pointed out that Parkland was also named the best city in Florida to raise a family in 2015 by WalletHub, a personal finance company.   “These things go hand in hand,” he said. “We put a lot of pride into our public safety. We bring value to our residents.”   He credited Parkland’s fire and police contracts with the safety rating – Parkland contracts with the Broward Sheriff’s Office and the Coral Springs Fire Department.   “We make sure our city has extensive police coverage. There’s a police officer in every one of our schools. We pay for that. There’s a lot of monitoring to be sure we are on top of everything,” Udine said.  

He added that park rangers are active and that geography adds to overall safety. “We’re tucked away in the corner [of northwest Broward]. There’s very few [points of ] egress and ingress [into the city]. And that contributes to the feeling of safety.”   According to its website, ValuePenguin states its methodology is to “standardize the data to reflect violent and property crimes per 100,000, to account for population. Then, we aggregated a ‘crime score’ by weighting violent crime at 80 percent and property crime at 20 percent. Though property crime is more prevalent, we figured that violent crime is more concerning to town residents. Then we adjusted the crime score for population size, giving more slack to larger cities.

Finally, we ranked the cities based on their crime scores.”