ADT Bend, Oregon

Why and How Bend, Oregon is One of the Safest Cities on the West Coast
50,000 new residents are living in Bend, Oregon since the mid-90’s. The boom has turned Bend from an overlooked suburb to a bustling mini-city, and the results are mixed. Many are happy to see Bend in a new light, and businesses of all kinds are prospering. But, like any city that sees a population boom of some extent, crime is not far behind. Bend is a paradise for those that love the outdoors and hiking. Bend has an attractively low cost per home, and that has brought in a whole new generation of young professionals. Yet, the crime (or lack thereof) may be on of its most appealing features. In all, crime rates are very low in Bend. Breakdown of Crime Rates, Wavering Numbers Crime in Bend, Oregon is low. But, the rates are anything but consistent. The city features zig-zagging numbers that are borderline erratic. This makes getting a pulse on any averages rather difficult. For example, burglaries have hit a high of 594 in 2007 and a low of 365 in 2011. Auto thefts have been cut in half in the last ten years, drawing 184 in 2002 compared to 73 ten years later. The city has only (only is a relative term) seen 8 murders since 2002, according to recent data. The 2011 murder was highly publicized due to its brutality. A Bend man murdered his wife in what he claims was self-defense. There was an overwhelming amount of evidence against the husband despite the body having never been found. The husband led officers to where he said he dumped the body. In this, officers found pieces of her clothing. The man was convicted with life in prison, and it was upheld by the Oregon Court of Appeals. The crime is fascinating because it garnered so much publicity. Yet, at no point were people in the city aware or concerned that this man would pose an immediate harm to anyone else. In short, this was a crime against a spouse. There was a domestic basis. This murder was not gang or drug related as far as officers could tell. This is not a societal degradation related crime so much as one of mental illness and/or passion. City-Data is extremely thorough in their records and usually encompasses nearly every year going back over a decade. Interestingly, Bend is one of the only cities with a population over 50,000 that are missing years. City-Data has no record of crime in 2009 and 2010, and the records stop after 2011. The data also does not account for all crime types, omitting a few. How Has Crime Remained So Low? The above data on crime in Bend, Oregon is forcing a rather fair question about the city- how? How has crime remained so low despite the population boost? The answer may lie in the layout to the city. Bend is spread out. It largely consists of small and separated communities that are distanced due to the mountains and terrain. It makes sense that a population, despite hitting just over 75,000, can boast a low crime rate due to terrain spreading. The obstacles aren’t minor. A person would have to essentially climb a small mountain to commit a crime in a different community. According to the City-Data reports, the national crime index for the United States is about 306 in 2011. The city of Bend was looking at a comparatively low 225 for the same year. This marks a stark difference in the national average and the crime in Bend. Looking at this average crime index report, it is safe to assume that Bend is rather safe, all things considered. Unemployment There is another fascinating reality bubbling beneath the surface. Bend, Oregon has a pretty hefty rate of unemployment to its credit. The unemployment rate hovers at just over 8%, which is higher than the national average by a pretty wide margin. Typically, high unemployment is matched with high crime rates. This is not exactly the case in Bend. It may be a situation of stable jobs or retirement. Bend is seen as retirement friendly due to the lack of sales tax in the state as a whole. It may be possible that the high unemployment is matched with a high rate of retirees, which further diminishes potential crime rates. Lack of Diversity Bend, Oregon has a painful lack of diversity. But, could this lead to the low crime rate? Some speculate that racial tensions are low only because of the serious lack of minorities in the city. Bend is nearly 90% white. On paper, it may seem like this is a clue for the low crime rates. This is not to say that minorities contribute to crime at larger numbers by any means. But, it does suggest that racial tensions related to gangs and segregation and race-oriented crimes are virtually nonexistent in the city. Why is Bend so safe? It is a fascinating study because it is quite surprising. The unemployment rate and increase in population would suggest high crime rates. Bend may be an odd misnomer. Even further interesting is the interest in home protection. Bendites happily support alarm protection, though the state politically leans left. Crime in Oregon is low overall. the flurry over second amendment rights is insubstantial and seemingly exaggerated. When it comes right down to it, Bend is a safe place to live. Its neighbors in California and Washington are not so fortunate.