Camden Surrenders Crime Crown

With all the bad press that Camden receives, it’s particularly pleasing when there’s good news to report about the troubled (albeit slowly recovering) city.

According to a recently released study, St. Louis (who knew?) overtook Camden as the nation’s most dangerous city in 2009. The study by CQ Press found that St. Louis had 2,070.1 violent crimes per 100,000 residents for the year. The national average is 429.4. Camden is the runner up this latest study, after topping the list last year—a dubious distinction Camden also claimed in 2003 and 2004.

Also in the top five are Oakland, California, and two Michigan cities—Detroit and Flint. For the second straight year, the safest city with more than 75,000 residents is Colonie, N.Y.

This ranking doesn’t come without its share of controversy. According to a recent article in the Courier Post, some criminologists question the validity of the findings. Moreover, Kara Bowlin, spokeswoman for St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, says her city has been getting safer in recent years, with crime dropping every year since 2007.

It may be a small comfort, but this is one distinction I’m glad is no longer South Jersey’s to claim.

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