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3 mountain towns make 'North Carolina Safest Cities' list

(FILE) Woodfin came in as the 10th safest town in the state, which is up from their previous SafeWise ranking of 14. Black Mountain came in at 11, up from rank 12. Fletcher ranked 14th, down from its previous ranking of 11. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

A new report ranks North Carolina cities in order of safety, and three mountain communities were in the top 20.

RELATED | Three mountain towns deemed some of the safest in NC

Woodfin came in as the 10th safest town in the state, which is up from its previous SafeWise ranking of 14. Black Mountain came in at 11, up from rank 12. Fletcher ranked 14th, down from its previous ranking of 11.

Woodfin officials were pleased with the ranking but gave a great deal of credit to the people they serve.

"From 14 to 10, and it's something that I'm proud of, and I'm proud of the police department for all their hard work" said Jerry Vehaun, who has been Woodin's mayor since 2003.

"I grew up in Woodfin, and Woodfin at one time was kind of a rough place in parts of it, and over the years, it's transitioned into what it is now," he said.

"You have to work together, you cannot do this job alone," said Woodfin police chief Brett Holloman, who has been chief for 13 years and on the force for 26.

The chief said the safety rating probably wouldn't be as high as it is if it weren't for a special partnership.

"I think it's more of a thing that the community ought to be proud of, just as much or more than the actual police department, because they're so involved with it," Holloman said.

SafeWise compiled the list based off of the most recent FBI Crime Report statistics from 2015, along with population data. They then calculated the likelihood that a violent crime or property crime would occur out of every 1,000 people.

According to Safewise, Woodfin's violent crime stats were 2.05 for every 1,000 people, while property crime was 10.56 for every 1,000. Black Mountain's stats were 0.73 for violent crime and 11.92 for property crime. Fletcher's stats for violent crime was 0.53 and 15.75 for property crime.

"It's great news, but it doesn't surprise me," said Woodfin's John Averette, who was with his son, Sam, enjoying a day at the park Monday.

All public recreation areas are posted with warnings for registered sex offenders.

Woodfin was the first in the state to enact such an ordinance.

"As a dad, it makes me feel really good," Averette said. "I never even really locked my doors until I got married and had him. I've always felt safe here, and it feels really good to know that the police are obviously doing their job, and that people here are good and look out for each other. I certainly feel that way about my neighbors, and I love Woodfin."

Asheville, the largest city in the mountains, is rated 86th out of the 100 surveyed. But the population is more than 87,000.

Top 20 Safest Cities in North Carolina:

  1. Pinehurst
  2. Waxhaw
  3. Holly Springs
  4. Trent Woods
  5. Havelock
  6. Stallings
  7. Davidson
  8. Cary
  9. Valdese
  10. Woodfin
  11. Black Mountain
  12. Wendell
  13. Cornelius
  14. Fletcher
  15. Morrisville
  16. Leland
  17. Gibsonville
  18. Huntersville
  19. Mint Hill
  20. Winterville

See crime stats and the a list of the top 100 safest cities in North Carolina at SafeWise's website.

Click here to learn more about SafeWise's methodology for their Safest Cities lists.

Track crimes in your neighborhood with News 13's Crime Map.

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