Snoqualmie named safest city in Washington

Oak Harbor, Sunnyside, West Richland were others to top list.

A new analysis from the National Council for Home Safety and Security has named Snoqualmie the safest city in Washington.

The national trade association, based out of Washington, D.C., and comprised of licensed alarm installers, contractors and other companies, examined 2017 FBI crime report statistics.

Property crimes and violent crimes were added together to create a total number of crimes reported by each city. Then a crime rate was created using city population numbers. Another variable called “police adequacy” (total crimes divided by the number of police employees) was factored into the ranking.

“We consider that the smaller the police adequacy statistic is, the safer the city is,” the analysis stated.

Others that topped the list were: Oak Harbor, Sunnyside, West Richland, Enumclaw, Grandview, Washougal, Lynden, Bainbridge Island and Battle Ground.

Snoqualmie city officials agreed with what the numbers showed.

“I absolutely believe it,” said Joan Pliego, who leads communication efforts for the city of Snoqualmie.

She credits the police department’s special motto and approach to safety.

“Our Snoqualmie Police Department has a motto of ‘No call too small,’” Pliego said. “They respond to anything that someone calls for, and I think that makes us a very personable and safe community.”

She added that citizens were pleased with the “special department” and their services. “We are small city but we have a strong police force.”

Nick Almquist, captain with the Snoqualmie PD, said he recognizes the city’s beauty that attracts others to work and play in the area. But when it comes to safety, from a police standpoint, he said officer involvement in the community helps policing efforts.

“What’s unique about that — because we are so in tuned in with events and community outreach type projects here — is it gives us a really good temperature gauge for the community,” Almquist said. “it’s the work of officers on the street making contacts with individuals and visitors that reside here and making that special touch, giving us such an amazing reputation.”

Officers frequently engage with community members, asking for their feedback and how to improve things. Every two years a community-wide survey on safety is given out.

Almquist said he agreed with the ranking, having worked at other police agencies on the Eastside, but that every city has its own challenges.

“Every city has their own struggles just like we do, whether it be traffic or a different type of crime that they deal with,” he said. “It’s hard in a way to base that decision because Snoqualmie is so unique from the different cities, Bellevue so different than Redmond. But I do agree with the analysis, and I’m very proud of our officers and the contribution they made into making this the number-one city.”

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