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City leaders: Ogden is a safer place to live



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OGDEN -- Ogden leaders want the public to know their city isn't as violent as people may have assumed, and they have newly-released numbers to prove it.

Even though the city had a drive-by shooting Monday night, and an armed robbery, the mayor and police chief say the city is safe and getting safer.

"Ogden's crime is dramatically lower than everyone thinks it is, and lower than it was 10 years ago," says Ogden City Mayor Matthew Godfrey.

He and other Ogden city leaders are proud of it. Godfrey and Ogden Police Chief Jon Greiner released new numbers from the FBI Tuesday that rate crimes like robbery, rape, homicide and property crime based on population. They say the numbers clearly show Ogden is getting a bad rap.

"The closest city to Ogden in crime is Taylorsville, and nobody thinks of Taylorsville as being a high-crime area," Godfrey says.

Another point their proud of: In the past decade, crime has dropped almost 50 percent.

"There's not a lot of cities across the country seeing this happen. Crime will ebb and flow, but to see a steady decline like this over the past 11 years is very impressive," Godfrey says.

Greiner says it's not random. The police department has an active role in the decreasing crime rates, mostly with its Crime Reduction Unit, which was created in 2007.

"It's been a big part of it," Greiner says.

The dropping numbers in crime are important to the city to lure in new businesses, but perhaps more important for the people who live there.

"I would hope to think they think we are doing a good job," Greiner says. "That's what we're here for."

The numbers just released were for 2008, but the mayor says he expects crime totals to drop even more in 2009.

E-mail: abutterfield@ksl.com

Amanda Butterfield

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