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Rutherfordton makes safest cities list 2nd year in a row

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The Town of Rutherfordton has been named as one of the 50 Safest Cities in North Carolina by Safewise.

According to Safewise, the list was created by analyzing the most recent FBI Crime Report data of cities with 4,000 or more residents in 2013. Many of the safest cities, Safewise continued, reported less than a dozen incidents of violent crime; Rutherfordton cited none at all.

While an honor, the bigger accolade is that it's not the first time the town has been on the list, said Rutherfordton Town Manager Doug Barrick.

"I'm more proud of the fact that we have been recognized two years in a row," he said.

The Town has taken a different approach with its police department in the past few years, Barrick continued, having officers go from a reactive stance to a proactive stance. There are more foot patrols and more interaction with community groups and events.

"We're trying to build relationships in the community that break down the barrier of 9-1-1," he said. "There's over 540 towns in North Carolina, and for us to be ranked in the top 50 with towns with departments much bigger than us speaks volumes on how we are policing."

Citizen participation and collaboration with the police department is one of the biggest contributors to the Town's success.

By being number 40 on the list, the Town will receive a "North Carolina Safest Cities" badge, which Barrick said would be incorporated into the Town's marketing.

"Being a safe city helps with recruiting new businesses and residents to Rutherfordton," he said. "It's really an asset to any businesses recruiting employees, too."

Davidson was named the safest city in North Carolina.

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