HPD disagrees with real estate blog's safety rankings - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

HPD disagrees with real estate blog's safety rankings

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HPD cites Montgomery, listed higher on the list, and its higher murder rate as reasons to refute the list. HPD cites Montgomery, listed higher on the list, and its higher murder rate as reasons to refute the list.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Huntsville Police are speaking out against a recent report that ranks Alabama's ten largest cities according to crime rates. That report put Huntsville at number nine for safety.

Police said they are shocked by the Rocket City's second-to-last rating. They feel the report is not a fair comparison in that Huntsville is a much larger city than some others on the list.

The ranking comes from an internet blog run by a California-based real estate company called Movoto, who lists the ten biggest cities according to safety as follows:

  1.  
    1. Madison
    2. Hoover
    3. Decatur
    4. Auburn
    5. Dothan
    6. Tuscaloosa
    7. Montgomery
    8. Mobile
    9. Huntsville
    10. Birmingham

The blog does not provide much information as to how it came by the rankings, other than citing the crime index for each city, and it does not provide source information.

Huntsville Police disagree with the ranking, saying 2013 robbery numbers were at their lowest point in four years. While our homicide rate was at its highest, it is still lower than Montgomery's, which this report says is a safer city.

"They recorded their 49th straight homicide right before the end of the year," said Deputy Chief Kirk Giles. "We had a record year, unfortunately, but we had 25. How do you compare those two cities and say that we are not as safe as Montgomery? It all goes back to transparency within the police department, which we have, and the community we serve, which is a fantastic community. The whole city has been transparent; we report our numbers electronically every month."

Police fear the blog could have a negative impact on the city's efforts to recruit new businesses and residents. They maintain this is a safe community and remind people to scrutinize what they read.

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