Security firm ranks Monticello 17th-safest city in Illinois

MONTICELLO — Monticello has been named the 17th-safest city in Illinois in a listing compiled by Utah-based security company SafeWise. The report is based on violent and property crimes as reported to the FBI for 2012, the most recent year such data was available.

The company compiles the listing annually. Charleston also cracked the top 50 at No. 22.

Here's the list.

The designation for Monticello does not surprise current chief John Carter, who took the law enforcement reins last summer.

"One of the things I looked at when I interviewed for the job was data that gives a breakdown of each city," which he said showed a low crime rate per capita in Monticello for the previous five years.

For 2012, Monticello recorded just 1.27 violent crimes per 1,000 people. Property crimes were 5.96 per 1,000 residents. The data comes from the FBI Unified Crime Report, which focuses on violent crimes such as aggravated assault, forcible rape, murder and robbery, along with property crimes of arson, burglary, larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft.

Monticello, with a population of 5,463, was the smallest on the SafeWise list, while Forest Park at 19,375 was the largest.

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