Chester recognized as one of 10 ‘safest cities’ in state

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2016 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Marji Graf, lower left, reads the Safewise certificate as (clockwise) select board members John DeBenedetti and Heather Chase, Town Manager David Pisha and Police Chief Richard Cloud lookon

Clockwise from lower left, Marji Graf reads the SafeWise certificate Select Board members John DeBenedetti and Heather Chase, Town Manager David Pisha and Police Chief Richard Cloud look on. Chester Telegraph photo

In a brief gathering on Chester Town Hall steps on Monday, Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marji Graf presented Chester Police Chief Richard Cloud with a certificate on behalf of SafeWise, a company that recently published rankings of safest places in Vermont.

On June 6, SafeWise posted on its blog  The SafeWise Report that – by interpreting 2014 FBI crime statistics – Chester ranks fourth among the safest “cities” in Vermont with a minimum of 2,500 residents. According to SafeWise, in 2014, Chester had 1.62 violent crimes and 4.21 property crimes per 1,000 residents.

The other nine Vermont municipalities include Windsor, Randolph, Colchester, Northfield, Richmond, Hinesburg, Shelburne and Waterbury, all of which have police departments that report crime stats to the FBI either routinely or occasionally. Smaller towns, which do not have police departments, often rely on state police or county sheriff’s departments that may not report town by town statistics. The SafeWise website lauds the entire state: “The Green Mountain State is especially safe when it comes to the occurrence of certain violent crimes, having reported a total of just 10 murders and 70 robberies in 2014.”

SafeWise is part of ClearLink Technologies, a marketing firm in Salt Lake City, Utah. The company both reviews and promotes home security systems and publishes a blog on home security concerns, which include rankings for the safest and most dangerous cities by state and nationally.

— Cynthia Prairie contributed to this article.

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