According to a report published by ValuePenguin (link), Roselle Park has ranked in the top 30% as the 95th safest city in the state; this out of 353 municipalities compiled for the report.
The company, according to their website, took a comprehensive look at crime statistics at over 350 New Jersey municipalities to determine which are the safest and least safe relative to each other. Using a methodology that factored in population as well as different types of crime (violent/property), ValuePenguin arrived at their rankings.
Within Union County – comparing 19 municipalities (Garwood and Winfield were not included) – Roselle Park was the 6th safest in the county, ranking higher than neighbors Elizabeth (341st), Kenilworth (204th), Union Township (256th), and Roselle (295th) – among others. Only nearby towns Cranford (3rd) and Westfield (5th) ranked safer.
When taking into account population, Roselle Park ranked 4th out of the eight (8) towns with under 20,000 residents.
In comparing violent and property crime statistics from 2013 FBI Uniform Crime Reporting program (the most recent data), Roselle Park had the 8th lowest reports of property crime (per 100,000) in the county and the was 3rd lowest in reporting violent crime (per 100,000) – only Mountainside and Berkeley Heights had lower violent crime rates per capita.
Property crime was defined as burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson while violent crime included murder/manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. ValuePenguin then weighted violent crime at 90% and property crime at 10% to arrive at a ‘crime score’. They then applied a logarithm to the population in order to account for the fact that, according to them, “smaller cities with slightly higher numbers of crime are penalized more severely” and multiplied it by the ‘crime score’ to arrive at an ‘adjusted crime score’. The final rankings were based on these adjusted crime scores.
The initial New Jersey Safest Cities list was published in early December then revised on the 18th to account for population fluctuation during the summer months for ‘beach towns’ and to include Camden, which ranked last. In response to initial feedback on their original methodology, ValuePenguin co-founder Brian Quinn commented,”I think initial criticism of the methodology was fair and something we had failed to consider when we first published. Because of that, we took a second look at how we were accounting for beach towns and made an adjustment we think better reflects this dynamic.”
ValuePenguin – founded in June of 2013 – is a company that primarily does data analysis for everything from credit cards to health & auto insurance to personal finance. This was the first year they published a ‘Safest City’ report and they plan to provide such rankings on an annual basis. Referring to the objective of the study, Mr. Quinn stated, “With this report in particular, my hope is it can shed light and give credit to the communities throughout New Jersey [that] are doing the best job of keeping their residents safe.”
The full listing can be viewed at ValuePenguin’s website (link). A sortable list of Union County municipalities is available below: