By: Joe Buffo – Staff Writer
Many citizens of Dayton suffer from lack of food and the violence of crime on a daily basis. A recent evaluation ranked the state’s fourth largest city among the five least safe cities in the state. FBI crime statistics from 2013, accounting for violent and property crimes, were used to determine the list, according to the Dayton Business Journal Feb.2.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Dayton is fourth lowest in the country in regards to food insecurity.
“Food insecurity exists whenever the availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or the ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways is limited or uncertain,” Bruce Burt, chief of police and executive director for public safety, said. “The City of Dayton is an urban community and the residents face the same challenges in relation to crime as any other city similar in size.”
Burt said his first priority is student safety. Since working on Dayton’s police force for 25 years before coming to UD, he understands how the city works. “Students are sometimes vulnerable to becoming a victim of a crime because they feel there is a bubble of protection surrounding our campus community. Our campus is safe, but we are part of a larger urban community and are not immune to outside influence,” Burt said.
“UD police officers provide around the clock police patrol for the campus community, but it is equally important for our students to practice basic crime prevention like leaving porch lights on, locking doors and walking with friends,” Burt said. “Students need to look out for each other.”
Joe Schlater, junior psychology major said, “I feel as though the amount of industry that has left Dayton in the past speaks to why Dayton has areas in which people don’t have adequate housing or food, and must therefore resort to crime.”
“I’ve never felt unsafe, I feel like Dayton’s not dangerous, at least where we live – the dangerous places seem to be further in the city,” junior sports management and electronic media major Christian Catwright said.
On Feb. 7, five to six cars were broken into on the 200 blocks between Lowes Street and Irving Avenue. Burt said a minimal amount of property was stolen, however the cars sustained a significant amount of damage; Dayton police also recovered a stolen vehicle during the week.
Zach Hart, a first-year electronic edia major said, “When I’m on campus I don’t feel threatened, but on days when I have had to drive into the city; well I definitely don’t feel the same type of protection. It’s as if I just popped the bubble.”
Dayton’s neighboring towns ranked much higher on the list of safest cities. Clearcreek Township is ranked no. 13, Germantown finished at no. 17 and Bellbrook is no. 35.
For complete statistics on the safest cities in Ohio, visit www.valuepenguin.com/2015/01/2015-safest-cities-ohio-study.