City To Lose Safest Ranking? PDF Print E-mail
News - Local News
Monday, 02 January 2017 10:35
Summerville officials believe the city could lose its number one ranking as the safest city in Georgia next month. 
In January, a national home security firm is expected to release its 2017 ranking. Since Summerville experienced three armed robberies, one resulting in a murder, officials think they might not make the list.
"I don't know. After this year . . ." Summerville Police Captain Harold Tucker said.
Being named last year as the safest city in Georgia came at an odd time. The same week the national firm, SafeWise, announced their findings, Summerville Policemen were tracking down violent armed robbers.
Two gunmen ran into the Melaine Inn Convenience Store on Jan. 15 and shot the clerk in the stomach. The clerk died days later in Floyd Medical Center.
Three days after the shooting, SafeWise released it findings that said Summerville was the safest city.
The firm used FBI Crime Report statistics from 2014 to calculate the top 20 cities. Those with population fewer than 4,000 were eliminated from the report.
Since SafeWise uses data that is a couple years old, it's possible Summerville could retain it's ranking for another year. 
Summerville does not experience a lot of violent crimes. The last time someone was murdered within the city limits was around 1999 or 2000, according to Capt. Tucker.
"That's not bad," Tucker said.
The police credit the community and good attitude of officers in helping to maintain a safe city.
"I think with us doing community policing and the rapport with the community helps," Capt. Tucker said. "We know our community and we know most of the people in Summerville. We talk to people. We are visible and seen a lot. All that stuff contributes to having a safe city. It helps."
Summerville Detective Ty Hutchins said locals respect city officers because they don't have an attitude and treat everyone fairly.
"Patrolmen being out there and going beyond what they should, and going the extra step helps," Det. Hutchins said.  "It's also about how you talk to people and give them respect. A lot of people are on our side."
In addition to the Melanie Inn robbery, different people robbed the Pure Store, off Hwy. 114 and Modern Kwik, on Commerce Street adjacent to Armstrong's Barbecue.
"We narrowed it down based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) in each city. To further level the playing field, we calculated the likelihood of these crimes occurring out of 1,000 people in each city," according to SafeWise.
SafeWise said Summerville's violent crime occurrence was extremely low: .23 out of every 1,000 people.

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