Boonville: Dangerous after dark?

An article recently released on OnlyInYourState.com that states Boonville is the second most dangerous city in Indiana after dark has Boonville citizens in an uproar.

First on the list is Indianapolis, while those ranked behind Boonville in order are Jeffersonville, East Chicago, Gary, North Judson, South Bend, Muncie, Hammond, Waterloo, Lafayette and Scottsburg.

Courtney Johnson, the author of the article, states that the list is based on FBI crime statistics on violent crimes in Indiana from “a few years ago” and that the cities are ranked per capita, rather than per number of violent crimes. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, violent crimes are defined as offenses which involve force or threat of force and consist of murder, non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assaulted.

So out of 120 cities in Indiana, how did Johnson rank Boonville second?

“With approximately 6,000 residents, Boonville likely isn’t on your radar as being a dangerous town,” Johnson sates in the article. “And while it doesn’t have the second highest number of violent crimes, it does have the second highest number per capita. Like Indianapolis, Boonville also breaks down to 11 violent crimes per 1,000 people.”

Boonville Chief of Police Daryl Saltzman said the police department does supply the FBI with crime figures but that he doesn’t know how Johnson came up with the figures for the article.

“You can pretty much make statistics look how you want,” he said.

Caroline Christmas, who has lived in Boonville for the past two years and graduated from Boonville High School in 1996, does not believe the article is factual.

“I think this is a great example of why you should not believe everything that you read on the Internet,” Christmas said. “Boonville [being] the second most dangerous city in Indiana is a joke.”

Christmas said that people feel so safe in Boonville that a lot of folks regularly spend time outdoors at night.

“Take a photo out front of Tastee Freeze at 9 p.m,” she said. “It’s hopping. [I] did not see folks out like that when I worked in a sketchy area of Cincinnati after dark.”

Boonville residents are also surprised that Evansville did not make the list.

“I am shocked Evansville didn’t make it,” Nicole Buttrum of Boonville said. “I would think it has more crimes than Boonville. It blows my mind.”

Kelly Broshears said she believes the study was wrong and has never heard such nonsense.

“I feel safe walking in Boonville at night,” she said. “Evansville? No way! And I pack!”

Even Saltzman is surprised Boonville made it on the list over other cities in Indiana.

“I don’t know how Evansville didn’t make the list with everything they have going on over there,” he said.

Saltzman said that overall, the report is ridiculous and almost leaves you speechless to have Boonville on the list.

“There is no validity to it at all,” he said. “There is no place in Boonville I wouldn’t feel safe going after dark.”

Marisa Patwa is a graduate of the University of Evansville with a degree in journalism and minor in political science.

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