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Townships on Ohio’s safe list

Howland, Liberty earn state recognition

Howland and Liberty townships have been named among the top 100 communities in the state listed as ”safest communities” by the National Council for Home Safety and Security.

Robyn Avery, media relations manager for the National Council for Home Safety and Security, said her group focuses on community involvement. The council is a trade association comprised of home security professionals across the United States.

To qualify as a safe community, both Liberty and Howland fared well when comparing the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with population data and internal research.

Areas with populations under 10,000 were not considered.

The cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft) per 1,000 people, Avery said. The variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 1.5 of the total because of the severity in relation to property crimes.

Liberty police Chief Richard Tisone said he was surprised his community ranked 61st on the list, marking the first time Liberty made the top 100 in Ohio.

Howland was ranked 78th.

In Mahoning County, the village of Poland ranked ninth and Austintown, 84th.

Chester Township was ranked as the safest community in Ohio, Avery said.

“The fact that we have increased our traffic enforcement and our visibility in the crime areas has made a difference,” Tisone said.

He said the police focus on high crime areas and have also worked with the schools adding off-duty officers as school resource officers to cover different shifts.

Liberty trustees said they were thrilled with the recognition, hoping this would help portray the township in a positive light.

“When we became a certified police department, our chief organized to make our community proud. This specific recognition proves how vigilant our police officers and chief are in making our community a safe place to live,” Liberty Trustee Jodi Stoyak said.

Liberty Trustee Arnold Clebone said the news should help Realtors bring families and business to the community.

“There are many good things in Liberty, and this shows we have a safe community,” he said.

Liberty Township Administrator Patrick Ungaro said too often there are rumors of Liberty having a lot of crime.

“There are some people who discredit Liberty as an unsafe community. Our police work very hard to keep our community safe. This is good news that shows what our police are doing,” Ungaro said.

Howland officials were also thrilled with the news.

Howland police Chief Nick Roberts said he credits the recognition to a combination of the work by safety forces with support from the community and administration.

“The police officers and detectives go above and beyond. The police, fire and other departments work together to serve the community and keep it safe,'” he said.

Howland Township Administrator Darlene St. George said she was very pleased to hear the township had been included on the list.

“It is an honor to be included on a list of safest communities in Ohio. We owe a lot of the credit to our safety forces who work very hard to keep our community safe,'” she said.

St. George said the recognition is another way to promote the township.

Also included on the list after the top 100 are Niles at 114, Warren at 137 and Youngstown at 138.

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