A website that reviews home security systems has ranked Gainesville as the 14th safest city in the state.
Safehome.org gave the city a score of just over 71 out of a possible 100. Safehome looked at crime statistics compiled by the FBI, citizen-to-officer ratios and other metrics. The list is based on cities with a population of at least 30,000.
"The city’s crime trends are also considered; in other words, cities where crime is on the decline are given a higher Safety Score and vice-versa," Safehome officials stated about the list. "We also look at the number of law enforcement officers compared to the population."
Gainesville's citizen-to-officer ratio, according to the ranking, was 335. The city recorded 150 violent crimes in 2017, an 11.5 percent increase over the previous year, according to Safehome. The property crime trend in the city dropped by just over 12 percent to 1,345 in 2017.
"They (Safehome) have our population listed at 36,948, however, during the day, you're looking at our average service population of well over 100,000, if not over 150,000," Gainesville Police Sgt. Kevin Holbrook said.
And Holbrook said if you take out metro Atlanta cities ahead of it, Gainesville actually jumps up a few spots. The website ranked Peachtree City as number one safest in the state, followed by Johns Creek, Milton, Kennesaw and Roswell. Alpharetta, Newnan, Sandy Springs, Statesboro and Brookhaven round out the top ten. Smyrna, Dalton and Hinesville are just ahead of Gainesville.
Holbrook said making the top 25 list was not a surprise.
"We work hard each and every day to make this city one of the safest cities in the state, if not the nation. That is our number one goal," Holbrook said. "We want to ensure that everyone can come to Gainesville, they can have a great time and not have to worry about their safety."
He said it's also about the community and police department working together through programs put in place under the leadership of Chief Carol Martin.