Once again, the city of Waite Park tops the crime-per-capita list of Minnesota cities for another year.

The FBI crime statistics for 2019 have been made available online and I buckled down to do some math. Waite Park and St. Cloud have notoriously made the top 10 list of crime per capita in the past, and I wanted to see if it had gotten any better.

Here is how I calculated the cities in our area:

A crime rate describes the number of crimes reported to law enforcement agencies for every 100,000 persons within a population. A crime rate is calculated by dividing the number of reported crimes by the total population. The result is then multiplied by 100,000.

Here is how towns in central Minnesota fared:

Albany - 726 crimes per capita

Becker - 1,916 crimes per capita

Cold Spring/Richmond - 1,131 crimes per capita

Foley - 2,695 crimes per capita

Little Falls - 4,764 crimes per capita

Sauk Rapids - 4,238 crimes per capita

St. Cloud - 8,039 crimes per capita

St. Joseph - 1,549 crimes per capita

Waite Park - 17,452 crimes per capita

Waite Park has a population of 7,764 listed on this FBI report from 2019. Towns with similar populations include LIttle Falls who had a population of 8,669, and St. Joseph with a population of 7,227. So why is Waite Park's crime rate so high?

St. Joseph only had 112 crimes reported, and Little Falls had 413. Waite Park had 1,355. When that gets ran through the formula of crimes reported, divided by the population, then multiplied by 100,000, it creates a large number.

In comparison, Minneapolis had 10,902 crimes per capita, and St. Paul had 8,392. Waite Park was still well above those numbers. Waite Park's two biggest crimes were property and larceny/theft, both of which had over 500 cases reported.

To wrap this up, I just want to throw it out there that I have never felt unsafe in Waite Park. There are crimes that happen everywhere, just being aware of your surroundings making sure you are doing what you can to keep yourself safe is key.

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