Sunday, September 13, 2015


Rochester has a very strong sense of community.  Along with this sense of unity comes a heightened awareness of local events.  Potentially positive news is met with significant enthusiasm (or healthy skepticism), and negative news always seems to hit very close to home.  Undoubtedly, Rochester has its share of tragic stories, with young men killing other young men on a regular basis.  The frequency of these brutal acts has given native Rochesterians a sense that they live on a markedly dangerous plot of Earth.  Yet as a transplant who has lived in or near Hartford, CT; New Haven, CT; St. Louis, MO; and The Bronx, Rochester seems remarkably safe.  What do the statistics actually show?

  • According to one ranking, among the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the country, the Rochester MSA has the 19th lowest crime index.
  • A list of the 30 American cities with the highest murder rates does not include Rochester.  The only city in New York State is Poughkeepsie.
  • Among America's 100 most dangerous cities, Rochester ranks 75.  St. Louis is #14, New Haven #36, and Hartford #45.  Beloved Atlanta, Washington D.C., Miami, and Philadelphia are all more dangerous than Rochester.
  • In the context of Rochester's recent spike in violent crime, I recently overheard a conversation regarding leaving the area to escape the lawlessness.  Interestingly, this rise in violent crime has occurred all over the country.  Which, of course, makes me ask: where are you going to move?

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