Saturday, October 31, 2009

Indianapolis Ranks As 5th Most Dangerous City, Not Among Safest As Ballard Claimed

How the Ballard administration could make this sort of mistake is beyond me, but someone read a Forbes ranking of the safest cities in the U.S., saw Indianapolis was ranked 36th and then put out a press release declaring, "Indianapolis Ranks Among Top 40 Safest Cities In The U.S." Because the ranking including the ranking of the 40 largest metropolitan areas, that meant that Indianapolis actually ranked as the fifth most dangerous city to live in the United States. When it comes to violent crime, Indianapolis is a worse place to live than Chicago or Philadelphia. The Star's Tom Spalding has the reaction from the mayor's office to the misinterpretation of the Forbes data:

Robert Vane, Ballard's press secretary, said the staff just misinterpreted what Forbes put out.

"The statistics back us up," Vane said. "We have a very positive legacy on crime that has nothing to do with the Forbes survey."

Which is probably just as well, because Forbes' ranking wasn't especially kind to Indy when it comes specifically to violent crime: It ranked Indianapolis No. 30 -- worse than Chicago (26) and Philadelphia (28).

Forbes actually factored in four categories to achieve its "safest city" rankings: violent crime, workplace fatality rates, traffic deaths and natural disaster risks.
Indianapolis scored dead last -- No. 40 -- in workplace fatality rates and No. 26 in traffic deaths. Its best ranking was in the area the city is least able to control: the wrath of Mother Nature. It ranked No. 19 in natural disaster risk.
So, you could say . . .

Indianapolis Ranked Large City Where You Most Likely Will Be Killed on the Job
Indiana Department of Labor officials looked at the survey and said its conclusions appeared speculative, said spokesman Sean Keefer. At best, they said, a poll that combined four factors should be viewed as subjective.
All is not bad here. Spalding's story notes that Miami, Nashville, Houston and Jacksonville come in as more dangerous places to live than Indianapolis. Also, experts question the validity of the criteria used to rank the cities according to Spalding.


Unknown said...

All those crime rankings that people like to publish are pure BS. The mayor's office should have just ignored it.

swan said...

The mayor certainly should not ignore this ranking. Indianapolis is a very dangerous city, and I am still hearing stories of citizens complete disillusioned with law enforcement, due to officers robbing drug dealers.

Anonymous said...

I've worked in Detroit for 4 years and downtown Indy for 5. Any ranking that puts Indy as more dangerous than Detroit is laughable. Apologies on the focus group of one but Detroit #12? I'm well traveled and spent much time in Detroit and for lack of a better adjective - this is crazy.