Arizona's Prison Town Named State's Safest City

Downtown Florence.
Downtown Florence.

Florence is the safest city in the state, a recent survey says.

See also: -Injustice for All: The Florence PD Compromised Public Safety

The survey was conducted using FBI statistics on violent crimes and property crimes within more than 100 Arizona cities.

Florence, home to prison and jail complexes, had only 1.12 violent crimes and 8.68 property crimes per 1,000 people. This makes it safer than over 78 percent of U.S. cities, the survey concludes.

Although the survey doesn't mention this, one reason may be the number of law enforcement officers who work and live in the town.

Florence has a population of 25,795, but the city is home to several Department of Corrections' prisons, including the Arizona State Prison Complex-Eyman and the Arizona State Prison Complex-Florence, which includes the Florence State Prison. These facilities house the state's male death row as well as its execution chambers.

Florence also is home to two privately run prisons, the Arizona State Prison Florence-West and the Central Arizona Correctional Facility. Then, there's the Red Rock Correctional Center, a private facility in Eloy just 30 minutes outside of town.

On the federal level, super-safe Florence is home to the Central Arizona Detention Center, the Florence Service Processing Center, and the Florence Correctional Center.

Finally, the city is home to the Pinal County Adult Detention Center.

All in all, hardly a shock that Florence tops this list.

Phoenix doesn't appear on the safe cities list, but looking at the data used to compile it--the FBI's 2012 Offenses Known To Law Enforcement charts--Phoenix's violent crime rate would be 6.37 crimes per 1,000 people, more than five times higher than the number out of Florence. Phoenix's property crime rate is 40.91 per 1,000 people, almost five times higher than the Florence rate. But Phoenix's population is much larger, estimated at 1,485,509 in the FBI data.

The survey, conducted annually by Safe Choice Security, named Sahuarita in Pima County, Somerton in Yuma County, and Oro Valley near Tucson as the next safest cities.

Maricopa County cities that made the 17 Safest list were Gilbert, population 214,264; Paradise Valley, population 13,177; Surprise, population 120,793; Buckeye, population 52,213; Goodyear, population 67,033; and Scottsdale, population 223,432.

Got a tip? Send it to: Ashley Cusick.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX. Follow Ashley Cusick on Twitter at @AshleyBCusick.

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