Niagara Falls, NY - Western New York cities are often ranked for their beauty, the number of tourist attractions, and as some of the best places to live. Niagara Falls and Buffalo are also on a list neither city wants to be on.
The start of the 2012 Western New York tourism season is just around the corner, but there's one Massachusetts based website called "Neighborhoodscout.com" that just listed both Niagara Falls, and Buffalo as two of the Top 100 "Most Dangerous Cities" in the country. Niagara Falls is listed as 51st, and Buffalo at 35th on the list.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown told 2 On Your Side he was not familiar with this particular list, or how they came up with their conclusions.
"It comes from 2010. I can tell you that crime is down overall," said Mayor Brown.
Mayor Paul Dyster had a similar comment saying, "They used 2010 figures and 2010 was a bad year for us for crime here in the city of Niagara Falls. We've shown a consistent drop in crime since 2010."
Over the past 2-years Dyster says Niagara Falls did see a drop in overall crime almost 12-percent. Mayor Brown says Buffalo's homicide rate dropped 40-percent.
2 On Your Side talked to Dr. Andrew Schiller, the CEO and Founder of Location, Incorporated. As owner of the "Neighborhoodscout.com" website, Reporter Patrick Moussignac asked him how did he came up with the numbers that were used to rank the top 100 "Most Dangerous Cities."
"This report was based on the crimes of murder, non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, armed robbery and aggravated assault per 1,000 residents for all cities in America that had a population of 25,000 or more," said Dr. Schiller
Both city leaders say they will continue to make sure residents are protected despite what's on that list of rankings.
"We take public safety very seriously. We've added officers, we've added surveillance cameras, we've added new operators. We work closely with the community, and our violence prevention organizations," said Mayor Brown.
Mayor Dyster added, "We're not so much concerned about you know the way that we're portrayed on a web site as we are concerned about the experience of our citizens on our streets on a day to day basis, and we're going to continue to do the things that we think we can do to make them safer."
Dr. Schiller also explained to 2 On Your Side, 2010 crime statistics were released last fall, and are the most recent of the numbers closely scrutinized by the FBI. Numbers for 2011 will be released in the fall, and used for the 2013 rankings.
For a complete list of both "Safe" and "Dangerous" cities, please click here.