Huntsville ranks high among Alabama's safest cities - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Huntsville ranks high among Alabama's safest cities

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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

The city of Huntsville ranks among the safest cities in the state, according to the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center. They released their crime in Alabama statistics for 2012 on Wednesday.

Officials with Huntsville Police said they are happy with the numbers and that they are higher in some crime categories and lower in others compared to other major metro areas.

Deputy Chief Sherry Jackson said that different cities and police stations report crimes differently. Police compared the first six months of 2012 to the first six months of 2013 and the numbers of rapes were down by 23, robberies were also down by 23. The numbers of assaults were down 62. Burglaries were down 219 and auto thefts were down by 80.

Jackson said the areas where they have seen an increase are for larceny and homicides. She says most of the homicides in the city are drug related. To crack down on those numbers they are putting their efforts toward street level drug crimes.

"So we are seeing an improvement in our efforts so far this year," she said. "We are going to continue to adapt and adjust and tackle our crime problems. This is still a safe place."

Jackson credited community watch groups to keeping the crime numbers low.

"We have a lot more communities that are implementing community watch organizations and for the simple reason that it works," she said.  "It's a great deterrent. They are our eyes and ears we are in close contact with them on a daily basis and it's very helpful to us."

 Ronald Robinson agrees.  He's the community watch coordinator for his subdivision in Mt. Vernon. 

 "The people watch and they patrol and they see things going on in the neighborhood that, we could have 1000 policemen and we still wouldn't have enough because they can't be every place," he said.  "It does make communities safer and I would hate to see what the communities would be nationwide if we didn't have this program."

For more information on how to form a community watch in your neighborhood, click here: http://www.hsvcommunitywatch.com/

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