Safest Cities in Colorado – 2020

Last Updated on January 19, 2020

Statewide, crime is surprisingly high in Colorado: the Centennial State’s violent and property crime rates are both significantly above national levels. However, the situation in Colorado’s 5 safest cities is quite different, as each of them recorded remarkably low rates of violent and property crime in 2018.

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Crime rate per 1,000
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Law enforcement per 1,000

Frederick earns the title of Colorado’s safest community by a wide margin. The small Weld County town logged just 7 total crimes in 2018, resulting in fantastically low crime rates. Frederick’s property crime rate is only 1% of the national rate.

#2 Louisville may not have crime figures as impressive as #1 Frederick’s, but they are remarkable in their own right. The Boulder County home rule municipality–frequently listed among the best places to live in the U.S. by Money magazine–logged a violent crime rate just 17% of the statewide rate.

The 3rd safest community in Colorado is Firestone, a neighbor of #1 Frederick in Weld County where crime is nearly as scarce. In 2018, Firestone earned a violent crime rate of 1.25 per 1,000, along with a property crime rate of 8.46 per 1,000.

Earning the 4th spot is Erie, a town near others on the list with areas in both Boulder and Weld counties. With a violent crime rate just under 1 offense per 1,000 people, Erie’s violent crime is just one-quarter of statewide levels.

Closing out the list of Colorado’s 5 safest communities is Parker, a rapidly expanding town in Douglas County just within the Denver metropolitan area. Parker posted a violent crime rate identical to #4 Erie’s, along with a slightly higher property crime rate which is still comfortably below state and national levels.

Colorado’s Safest Cities

COCityPopulationViolent
crime
Property
crime
Law enforcement
employees
Total crimesCrime rate per 1,000Violent crimes per 1,000Property crimes per 1,000Law enforcement per 1,000
1Frederick13390432270.520.300.221.64
2Louisville215451693421095.060.744.321.95
3Firestone1441918122321409.711.258.462.22
4Erie25233252583728311.220.9910.221.47
5Parker555735578110683615.040.9914.051.91
6Castle Rock6452636969102100515.580.5615.021.58
7Steamboat Springs13100172643728121.451.3020.152.82
8Johnstown1649092221923114.010.5513.461.15
9Broomfield70307821707207178925.451.1724.282.94
10Fruita13390302172024718.452.2416.211.49
11Centennial1116462021958163216019.351.8117.541.46
12Golden20768445376358127.982.1225.863.03
13Loveland781922011749159195024.942.5722.372.03
14Fort Morgan11267383003333830.003.3726.632.93
15Fountain303671206325775224.763.9520.811.88
16Fort Collins1681633923701302409324.342.3322.011.80
17Evans207441084233753125.605.2120.391.78
18Longmont955344152586245300131.414.3427.072.56
19Brighton41613114113591124930.012.7427.282.19
20Lafayette28914607114877126.672.0824.591.66
21Greeley1073254242739208316329.473.9525.521.94
22Durango18717816616274239.644.3335.323.31
23Greenwood Village15989947288282251.415.8845.535.13
24Littleton4863243156098160332.960.8832.082.02
25Arvada1206312723544220381631.632.2529.381.82
26Boulder1083802923666262395836.522.6933.832.42
27Thornton1396973784647313502535.972.7133.262.24
28Aurora3728242716111228571383837.127.2829.832.30
29Commerce City574743851826132221138.476.7031.772.30
30Northglenn39383145130274144736.743.6833.061.88
31Colorado Springs4711242617157529951836938.995.5533.432.11
32Glenwood Springs10022354733450850.693.4947.203.39
33Denver72074552622646418243172644.027.3036.722.53
34Grand Junction629742752733182300847.774.3743.402.89
35Federal Heights12929865543864049.506.6542.852.94
36Montrose19335668945796049.653.4146.242.95
37Sterling13928884872857541.286.3234.972.01
38Canon City16557947574185151.405.6845.722.48
39Englewood35029832139108222263.432.3761.063.08
40Lone Tree1393343101060105375.583.0972.494.31
41Pueblo11175611106231279734165.699.9355.762.50

Methodology

To identify the safest cities, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and cities with populations under 10,000. This left 3,381 cities (out of a total of 9,251). 

There are two broad classifications of crimes: violent crimes and non-violent crimes. According to the FBI, “Violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Violent crimes are defined in the UCR Program as those offenses that involve force or threat of force. Property crime includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The object of the theft-type offenses is the taking of money or property, but there is no force or threat of force against the victims. ”

We computed the total number of crimes reported by each city by adding violent crimes and property crimes. We then created a crime rate as the number of crimes per 1,000 population. Then we transformed the total crime rate variable so that the skewness was reduced and normalized.

Data from 2,831 law enforcement agencies was then collected to determine police adequacy (TotalCrimes / Number of police employees).  We consider that the smaller the police adequacy statistic is, the safer the city is. This variable was also transformed and normalized.

Finally, the two variables were combined to create a safety score for each city.