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Report: Three of top four safest cities in Maryland are in Harford County

The Town of Bel Air has been named the fourth safest city in Maryland, according to the National Council for Home Safety and Security.
The Town of Bel Air has been named the fourth safest city in Maryland, according to the National Council for Home Safety and Security. (Aegis file)

Three of the top four safest cities in Maryland in 2019 are in Harford County, according to the National Council for Home Safety and Security, a trade organization for the security alarm industry.

After Ocean Pines, Havre de Grace ranks second, Aberdeen third and Bel Air is fourth in terms of rates of violent and non-violent crimes, according to the council’s website, www.alarms.org. Annapolis was fifth.

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The council reviews the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics and determines rates of violent and non-violent crimes based on population and rate of number of total crimes per number of police employees, according to the council. Those scores are combined to find a safety score for each city.

“That’s a tremendously great bit of news,” Aberdeen City Manager Randy Robertson said of Police Chief Henry Trabert’s announcement at the Aberdeen City Council meeting Monday that Aberdeen had moved up a notch to third place this year. “It’s been a tough year, but I’m glad we’re still in the top five, and improving.”

The city of Havre de Grace moved up three places to second from sixth place this year.

“We are proud to be recognized as one of the safest municipalities in Maryland,” Havre de Grace Police Chief Theresa Walter said. “We believe our success is due to our dedicated employees, strong community engagement, the continuous support from our Mayor and City Council.”

Bel Air moved into fourth place from eighth last year.

“We are certainly proud of being recognized in this and other publications as a ‘Safe City,’” Bel Air Police Chief Charles Moore said.

The town police department hopes to continue to provide, to the best of its law enforcement ability, the safest environment as possible for citizens. The police department and leadership of the town strive for, and take pride in, this type of recognition “as we are the ‘hometown’ for over 10,000 citizens.”

“We are also considered the ‘hometown’ by many who reside on the outskirts of Bel Air (over 20,000),” Moore said. “Further reinforcement that our town is a safe place is the evolution of an immensely popular center for entertainment, retail establishments, medical needs, culinary establishments, etc. When citizens don’t feel safe, you simply don’t have a healthy town or city and without question the Town of Bel Air is a healthy place for citizens.”

With a population of 13,647, 40 violent crimes and 192 property crimes, Havre de Grace had a violent crime rate of 2.9 per 1,000 people and a property crime rate of 14.107 per 1,000 people, according to the website.

In Aberdeen, with a population of 15,525, Aberdeen reported 74 violent (4.7 per 1,000) and 221 non-violent crimes (14.06 per 1,000).

Bel Air, with a population of 10,068, had an overall crime rate of .029 crimes per 1,000 people, with 2.67 violent crimes per 1,000 people and 26.214 property crimes per 1,000.

“The men and women in law enforcement in Aberdeen, Bel Air and Havre de Grace, along with the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, deserve thanks for protecting our community,” Harford County Executive Barry Glassman said. “I am also proud of our law-abiding citizens, who help make Harford County a safe place to live and raise a family.”

The National Council for Home Safety and Security is a national trade association comprised of licensed alarm installers, contractors and other relevant trade groups across the United States whose stated goal is to further industry education and public knowledge about home safety and security.

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In December, SafeWise, an independent review site of safety and security products, listed Bel Air as the ninth safest city in Maryland, behind Hampstead, Manchester, Thurmont, Bowie, Glenarden, Ocean Pines, Taneytown and Frostburg.

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