Richmond Hill is one of Georgia’s safest cities, according to statewide analysis of crime data.
Richmond Hill ranks 20th, up seven spots from last year, on this year’s “40 Safest Cities in Georgia” report by the safety organization SafeWise.
“This ranking shows what a great police department that the city of Richmond Hill has,” Mayor Harold Fowler said. “The City Council and I thank the police department’s men and women for the great job they do.”
SafeWise analyzed the most recent FBI crime data of Georgia cities with at least 4,000 residents. The organization then examined each city’s number of violent crimes such as murder, rape and aggravated assault and property crimes such as burglary, arson and car thefts, and calculated how often those crimes were reported per 1,000 people.
Richmond Hill ranked 20th-safest in Georgia by virtue of its 0.92 violent crimes and 20.11 property crimes per 1,000 residents. The state averages were 3.59 violent crimes and 33.46 property crimes per 1,000 people, according to SafeWise.
“The communities on our list have different qualities, but they share one important thing — a commitment to fighting crime,” SafeWise security analyst Alexia Chianis said. “We are pleased that we discovered leaders, citizens and law-
enforcement officers working together to achieve this goal in each of the communities on our list.”
The Richmond Hill Police Department’s 32 sworn officers are well-trained and well-equipped, according to Chief Billy Reynolds.
“Our staff is dedicated to providing the citizens of Richmond Hill a quality and professional law-enforcement agency while being responsive to the needs of the community,” Reynolds said.
All officers are outfitted with “the most-modern equipment available to law enforcement,” Reynolds said, including ballistic vests, portable radios, .45-caliber handguns, laptop computers for mobile reporting, specialized weapons, in-car video cameras and body cameras.
The RHPD also has a state-of-the-art firearms complex.
The department’s community involvement includes hosting the annual National Night Out at J.F. Gregory Park and cooking hot dogs and hamburgers for special-needs children during the annual Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival. Officers also assist neighborhoods in organizing neighborhood-watch programs and donate their time teaching the PRIDE program to youths required by court order to attend it.
“We are very proud of the fact that our agency has been able to progress with the community,” Reynolds said.
Johns Creek, a northeast suburb of Atlanta, ranked as Georgia’s safest city. Holly Springs was second, followed by Summerville, Milton and Peachtree City.
The one local city that ranked higher than Richmond Hill was Port Wentworth, at No. 18. Port Wentworth had 1.26 violent crimes and 18.62 property crimes per 1,000 people, according to SafeWise.
Other cities of note include Pooler at No. 29, Waynesboro at No. 30 and Glennville at No. 32. A pair of Camden County cities rounded out the top-40 safest cities, with Kingsland 39th and St. Marys 40th.