By most people’s definition Cranston, Rhode Island is not a big city. It is home to just over 81,000 residents, and was officially listed as a town until March of 1910. In terms of area, Cranston is, however, fairly large. Its 29.9 square miles form approximately 3% of the entire land mass of Rhode Island. It is also the third most populous city in the state. Despite being home to no less than four prisons, including one Maximum Security correction center, Cranston is generally a fairly safe place to live. In fact, it was recently included in CQ Press’s list of 25 safest cities in the country. In addition to gaining a place on this illustrious list, it was also cited by Money Magazine as one of the 100 best places to live in 2006, and ranked 36th on a survey conducted on the 24/7 Wall St website of America’s Best 50 Cities. This should come as no surprise to the city’s residents, who appreciate its location right on the beautiful Rhode Island coast. Its residents also take advantage of the city’s proximity to the state capital of Providence, which is home to a thriving art scene and many prestigious universities. Cranston boasts a rate of higher education among adults that is almost 10% higher than national averages. The safest areas of the city to live in are, unsurprisingly, also some of the most expensive, and the most rural. Homeowners looking to invest in property here would do well to set their sights on the city’s western reaches, such as Comstock Gardens and Oaklawn. The neighborhoods surrounding Scituate Ave and Seven Mile Road are also historically and contemporaneously safer than areas closer to downtown. Of course, not everyone has the luxury of being able to afford to live in these neighborhoods. Compared to those living in larger urban areas, even residents of the more dangerous regions surrounding the city center should still be able to sleep quite well at night knowing that rates of both violent crime and property crime are on the decline, and already fall well below both state and national averages. Only one resident in 765 becomes a victim of violent crime, with only one murder occurring within the city limits last year. Rates of property crime are slightly higher, although they are also below average for cities of this size. One in 51 residents experienced some form of property crime in the area, with 266 burglaries being reported last year. One factor that helps to explain comparatively low crime rates is the proliferation of security equipment in the city, and the willingness of residents and business owners to collaborate with police to help them apprehend suspects. Anyone with a security camera installed on their premises is encouraged by the Cranston Police Department to report their security equipment to the Camera Registry Program. This program helps police investigate crimes by making it easier to find nearby surveillance equipment, and use the footage to identify suspects and collect evidence. The department then directly contacts property owners when crimes are committed in their vicinity, requesting that they submit the footage. The entire program is, of course, completely voluntary. Other ways for residents to become more directly involved in crime prevention in their communities include joining one of the city’s many Neighborhood Watch programs. Communities that participate include Glen Woods, Dean Estates, Woodridge, and Garden Hills. Programs like Neighborhood Watch give residents the opportunity to work with authorities to directly influence the safety of their communities. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to eradicate crime completely from any city. For the two residents of one Wayside Avenue home, Cranston’s stand-up police force and numerous Neighborhood Watch groups were not enough to prevent a home invasion. Two armed men forced their way in when the two homeowners opened the door. The intruders demanded money, and attacked the residents with a knife. Thankfully one of them was able to escape, running to a neighbor’s house to report the incident to the police. Although the investigating officers report that the incident was likely not random, but a targeted attack, no one involved has any idea why the home would have been targeted. Its residents are described by neighbors as keeping mostly to themselves. The two suspects were not caught, and nearby neighbors were understandably shaken up. This kind of incident is not entirely unheard-of in the area. In 2015, another resident was surprised by two intruders. The men broke into her house while she was home with her two autistic children, holding them hostage in one room while she was forced at gunpoint to take one of the home invaders on a tour of her house looking for money. Police believed at the time that this home invasion was also a targeted attack, rather than a random incident. Although these suspects also went un-apprehended, police made no connection between the two cases. It can be hard to move on after hearing about incidents like these, which do occur periodically even in Cranston. One excellent solution is to take it as an opportunity to beef up home security. Installing an alarm or surveillance system will not only help homeowners and inhabitants sleep better at night, but also provide a deterrent to criminals looking for easy targets. Additionally, should a break-in be attempted, it will ensure a quicker police response, and could provide valuable evidence to investigators. Many national security companies provide services in the Cranston area, but those who would prefer to speak with a security expert in-person prior to purchasing a system have their choice of several local offices. Alliance Security is located at 85 Garfield Ave. AT&T Digital Life Home Security has an office on 540 Reservoir Ave, and Multi Tech Alarm Corp., a company that produces burglar alarms exclusively, is located further west at 18 Moccasin Trail.