City ranked safest in the state, 36th in the nation

If residents of West Linn feel secure in their community it could be because the city is ranked the safest in the state of Oregon.

West Linn was recently recognized as the 36th safest city in the nation, top in the state.

Each year, Location Inc. publishes a list of the top 100 Safest Cities in America, calculated for cities with populations of 25,000 or more and based on the total number of crimes per 1,000 residents. The information comes from Location Inc.’s research site NeighborhoodScout.

This year, West Linn was one of only two cities in Oregon to achieve this rating. The other was Lake Oswego, which ranked 84th in the nation. West Linn climbed three notches from last year and Lake Oswego plummeted from last year’s 68th position.

In a letter from Location Inc. to West Linn Police Chief Terry Timeus, West Linn was recognized as having a vigilant police force and the full commitment of the city’s residents.

According to NeighborhoodScout’s website, the rankings were based on the total number of property and violent crimes per 1,000 residents in 2012. Those crimes include burglary, larceny-theft, vehicle theft, murder, rape, armed robbery and assault. The data used includes the number of crimes reported to the FBI and the city’s population.

According to Neighborhood Scout, last year there were 10 violent crimes and 268 property crimes along with one rape, three robberies and six assaults in West Linn.

A resident’s chance of being a victim of a violent crime in West Linn is 1 in 2,539, compared to 1 in 1,950 in Lake Oswego. The chance of being a victim of a property crime is 1 in 95 in West Linn, compared to 1 in 74 in Lake Oswego.

There were 29 burglaries, 223 thefts and 16 vehicle thefts in West Linn last year.

Location Inc. ranked Franklin, Mass., as the safest in the nation.

West Linn Sgt. Dave Kempas said the high ranking has to do with not only the police department, but also the residents of West Linn.

“We have a community that likes to call the police,” he said. “We have a diligent community that calls in.”

Kempas added that the city’s demographics don’t hurt. Because the upscale community is mostly residential with no large business districts, it cuts down on crime.

“We can do the smaller calls. We pay attention to the bad guys,” Kempas said. “It’s the citizens; they are very quick to call.”

The police department in the last year has also been working to make itself more visible to the public. Officers regularly attend neighborhood association meetings and now have active Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Add to that the fact that the police department is now operating with a full force for the first time in about five years, according to Kempas. With more than 31 sworn officers, there are now more officers patrolling the streets of West Linn than in recent history.

“We have a good crew of professional police officers dedicated to serve the citizens of this community,” Kempas said.

For more information about 100 Safest Cities in America, visit

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