County locales near top of safest city list

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Little Elm, Flower Mound, Corinth noted for low crime rates

Little Elm, Flower Mound and Corinth were recently named some of the safest places to live in the entire Lone Star State.

SafeWise, a home security resource, used data from the FBI’s Crime in the U.S. report and its own research to compile a list of the 50 safest cities in Texas with 20,000 residents or more. The company released the list last week.

While the Tarrant County town of Colleyville was No. 1 on the list, Denton County’s Little Elm came in at No. 2.

According to the FBI report, there were no murders, rapes or arson cases reported to Little Elm law enforcement in 2011.

Town Manager Matt Mueller said he attributes the low crime rate to the fact that Little Elm, which has a population above 28,000, is a close-knit community. He said the town has landed on various lists regarding safety, and he thinks it’s a testament to the high standards the police force sets.

“We strive to ensure the safety of our citizens, and making these lists is just reflective of the hard work we put into our city,” he said Friday.

Flower Mound, which ranked fourth on the list, has a population of 67,825, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 estimate.

The report shows Flower Mound had the state’s lowest overall crime rate in its population category — including the lowest property crime rate and the lowest violent crime rate. SafeWise’s survey shows only three robberies were reported in 2011.

“We place a lot of emphasis on public safety in general,” said Town Council member Michael Walker, “no matter if it’s with the fire rating, police department or school district.”

He believes a strong focus on education is essential in keeping the town safe.

“I recently attended a breakout session at Lamar Middle School, where there was discussion on issues that kids in middle school and high school face, such as substance abuse, bullying and peer pressure,” Walker said. “Partnering with the [Lewisville] school district for safety programs is an initiative we support.”

The police department has also been conducting town hall meetings on the hazards of substance abuse and launched “I.N. the Know,” a new program to help combat drug abuse among teens in the community.

Walker said he has seen Flower Mound improve its overall safety in recent years, including expanding its fire protection.

“The more education you have, the less trouble you will have later,” he said.

The city of Corinth came in ranked sixth.

The FBI report reveals authorities were alerted to two robberies and 61 burglaries in 2011 in Corinth, which has slightly more than 20,000 residents, according to recent census estimates.

City Council member Mike Amason said Corinth’s inclusion on the list proves Corinth police have made the city a safe place to live.

“We really have an outstanding city staff and police force,” he said.

Amason said he moved from Denton to Corinth three years ago with his wife and children in part because he knew the neighborhoods were considered to be safer.

“Yeah, it is something you think about,” he said.

Other Denton County cities that made the list include The Colony in 11th place; Frisco, 26th; Plano, 37th; Carrollton, 40th; and Denton, 45th.

MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885 and via Twitter at @MGrayNews.


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