Monterey County

Soledad makes the list for top 50 safest cities in California

Soledad makes the list for top 50...

SOLEDAD, Calif. - UPDATE 6/5/17: 5:49 p.m.:  For three years in a row, Soledad has been named as one of the 50 safest cities in California.

In an annual report by SafeWise, a home security organization, the city came in at number 31.

“I think any time you can be ranked in the top 50, you should be very proud at the fact that your city is represented there," said Soledad Police Chief Eric Sills.

The city of 27,000 is the only one on the Central Coast to make that list. But it lipped in its ranking from number 24 last year.

According to SafeWise, property crimes rose by three points in the city.

But Sills said that might not be the only reason for the drop.

"I think one of the first years this report came out, they were basing on city population of over 20,000. Now, I believe they've gone down to 10,000, so that incorporates even more cities," Sills said.

When asked about what makes his city safer than others on the central coast, especially that it’s tucked in between Salinas and King City, both struggling with violent crimes, Sills said building community trust is key.

“We have a number of community policing programs in place. We go to the schools and we do a cops literacy program and we interact with the kids," Sills said.

Residents said they feel a great sense of community pride.    

"A lot of kids, especially kids, they see, like, (a) policeman, they run to the police and say, 'Oh, can I get a sticker? Can you say hi? Can you...?' they are really friendly, especially with the kids, too,” resident Esther Hildalgo said. “So yea, we do trust them."

PREVIOUS STORY: According to a new report done by SafeWise, Soledad is one of the 50 safest cities to live here on the Golden State. The South Monterey County city is also the only city on the Central Coast to make the list.

Soledad is ranked the 31 safest city, with a previous rank of 24. The report said Soledad’s violent crimes per 1,000 people is about 2. Property crimes per 1,000 people equals about 12.

SafeWise is a home security and safety brand whose analysts used the most recent FBI crime data from 2015 to rank the cities. All of the safe cities on the list have a minimum population of 10,000 people.

For the full report on California’s top 50 safest cities click here.

KION’s Linda Zhang will have more on the report and why Soledad's safe ranking has gone down.

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