Baker City is famous for its outdoor recreation, thriving arts scene, beautiful historic buildings and traditional Western heritage. We probably take it for granted that Baker is a safe place but a recent study puts us at the top of all Oregon cities.
Safe Choice Security News earlier this month ranked Baker first on its list of the 12 safest cities in Oregon. The site analyzes FBI crime statistics to arrive at its conclusion, but it also considers other factors. According to Safe Choice Security News, “with a disaster preparedness plan, a Citizen on Patrol program and a dedicated police force, Baker City is the safest place to live in Oregon.” With a violent crime rate of 1 per 10,000 people last year, you are more likely to be injured skiing or hunting than you are to be robbed in Baker.
Not only is Baker the safest city in Oregon, it is safer than 90 percent of US cities. The second-place Oregon city, West Linn, is safer than 77 percent of US cities.
Agreed, most smaller towns tend to be safer. But it’s important to consider what such a low crime rate means for quality of life. It means people can enjoy a nice lunch or dinner on a sidewalk cafe downtown, or attend one of our many local festivals, and not have to worry about getting assaulted, or their car or home getting broken into while they have fun. It means residents and visitors can enjoy our campgrounds with safety. It means people can park overnight in an RV and not have to worry about it getting burglarlized. It means businesses can set up shop, confident their store will be secure. It means people are less guarded and suspicious and therefore more friendly and welcoming.
Low crime is an essential component of not only quality of life, but also of economic development. As Baker tries to attract more businesses, we should use our great reputation for safety as a selling point.