First Selectman Mike Tetreau is pleased to announce that Fairfield has been ranked as one of the nation’s 50 Safest College Towns in America. Fairfield ranked #11 in 2018, up from #24 in 2017. Fairfield is only one of three Connecticut municipalities that meets the safe college towns’ criteria. West Hartford ranked #13 and Willimantic ranked #41.
First Selectman Tetreau said, “This high honor is a great testament to the exceptional job our Police Department performs day in and day out. It is also a wonderful way to recognize our two outstanding universities and their dedicated campus security, which, together with Fairfield’s finest, keep students safe and parents reassured.”
Findings and Methodology
In anticipation of the new fall semester starting for college students, SafeWise, a community-focused security organization, recently issued its third annual Safest College Towns findings. One of the key findings is that Fairfield and six other top 30 safest college towns are repeats from last year. According to SafeWise, “Today students (and parents) are looking for colleges that deliver academic excellence with a side of safety.”
The safest college towns of 2018 were identified by SafeWise safety experts who analyzed the FBI’s most recent crime statistics to calculate the total number of crimes committed in America’s towns and cities with at least one accredited, academic institution of higher learning. To deem a college town “safe,” SafeWise zeroed in on violent crimes per 1,000 people for each city. From there, analysts weighed those numbers in relation to population numbers and other important factors. Finally, SafeWise identified relevant safety, security, and community outreach programs that help make each Safest College Town safe.
Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara stated, “All the men and women of the Fairfield Police department, including our civilian staff and 911 telecommunicators, some of whom are parents ourselves, understand that when sending their students off to college a big concern is their safety. We are proud to be recognized as a safe college town. We are also proud of the partnerships we have with the public safety units at both universities. It is through these partnerships and dedication that we all make Fairfield a safe town for members of the University communities.”
Fairfield Ranked #11
According to its findings, SafeWise noted that “Fairfield has reason to celebrate its safe streets—this (town) jumped 13 spaces to rank number 11 this year.” Sacred Heart University, one of the town’s major universities, serves over 8,000 students with five violent offenses on campus in 2016.
“The safety of the members of the Sacred Heart community and our guests is always our top priority. We are excited that our safety policies and procedures, along with our strong partnerships with the Fairfield police and fire departments, have contributed to the town’s high safety ranking,” said Jack Fernandez, Director of Public Safety at Sacred Heart University.
SafeWise also highlighted that, “Fairfield University’s excellent safety record adds to the sense of security in this college town and speaks well of both campus safety officers and the overall campus community.”
Director of Public Safety at Fairfield University Todd Pelazza stated, “One of our top priorities at Fairfield University is the safety and security of our students, faculty and staff and we are thankful for the strong partnership with the town of Fairfield, and the members of the police and fire departments.”