Heart of Oakley

The Project 4 Band performed as the Heart of Oakley festival was held in Oakley, Calif., Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019. Attendees were treated to live music, dancers, vendors and local beer and wine. The city was recently named one of the state's top 25 safest cities. (Tony Kukulich/The Press)

The City of Oakley is one of the top 25 safest in the state, according to one recent crime rates study.

Safewise, an independent security solutions review organization, ranked Oakley the state’s 21st safest — ahead of all other East County areas — when analyzing the latest available uniform FBI-reported violent and property crime rates per 1,000 people in each city from 2019. The city was ranked 16th safest in last year’s study.

Brentwood came in 92nd and Antioch 200th out of the 229 cities in the latest analysis, which weighted violent and property crimes equally and explored only cities with populations above the state’s median-sized city, to reduce skewed data and results.

Danville, Rancho Santa Margarita, Moorpark, Rancho Palos Verdes and Aliso Viejo were found to be the top five safest.

“I am very pleased that Oakley is again ranked one of the safest cities in California,” said Mayor Sue Higgins. “It takes active involvement of our citizens and our law enforcement team working together to make it happen. For all residents, no call is too small, and if you see something, say something — those are the keys to help keep us safe.”

The study found that Oakley’s violent crime rate (combining aggravated assault, murder, rape and robberies) was at 1.2 per every 1,000 residents in the 2021 study — up slightly from 1.0 in last year's study — and its property crime rate (burglary, larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft) dipped to 11.6 per 1,000 residents, down from 11.9 in the previous analysis.

"Public safety will continue to be our top priority, and ranking among the safest cities in California is a wonderful accomplishment,” said Oakley Police Chief Dean Capelletti. “The OPD appreciates the entire Oakley community for their support, as our team works hard every day to make the city a great place to live.”

Brentwood (ranked 92nd) registered a violent crime rate of 2.5 per 1,000 residents, up from 2.4 the previous year, and a property crime rate of 20.4 per 1,000 residents, down from 20.5 in the previous study. The city was ranked the 81st safest in the last study.

Antioch (ranked 200th) had a 5.8-per-1,000-resident violent crime rate (up from 5.3 in the previous examination) and a 28.4-per-1,000-resident property crime rate, down from 29.5 in the previous data set. Antioch was ranked the 198th safest in the previous results.

Danville, considered the state’s safest city, boasted a 0.5-per-1,000-residents violent crime rate and a 6.6-per-1,000-residents property crime rate.

Oakland was deemed the state’s least safe out of the 229 cities analyzed, registering a 12.7-per-1,000-residents violent crime number and a 64.2-per-1,000-residents property crime mark.

Statewide, the violent crime rate sits at 4.4 per 1,000 residents, down slightly from 4.5 in last year's study. The statewide property crime rate dipped to 23.3, down from 23.8 last year.

Rebecca Edwards, Safewise spokesperson, said the organization hopes the accurate representation of a community's crime sparks conversations about safety.

Aside from contextualizing national crime and safety trends, the organization also researches, tests and reviews home safety and smart products.

“We started doing it (crime rates studies) because we thought it would be interesting and people would like to see where their city ranked and everything. But we have gotten a little more serious about it over the years, at least as far as using it as a catalyst to have conversation about what makes us feel safe,” she said. “Does the community have as much crime as we think it does? Does it have more or less? If reality is not matching up with our perceptions, what can we do about that to help improve the safety of ourselves and our neighbors.”

Other Bay Area cities ranked in the report include: Foster City at 24, San Ramon at 25, San Marcos at 26, Morgan Hill at 32, Pacifica at 40, Martinez at 45, Livermore at 55, Walnut Creek at 165 and Pittsburg at 192.

To view the complete report, visit https://bit.ly/3moXu6e.

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