Ocean View again named safest municipality in state

The town of Ocean View has been named the safest in Delaware by HomeSnacks.net, after data was examined “from dozens of sources … to help you understand what it’s like to live in different places across America.”

Among local towns, Millsboro was named ninth safest, and Selbyville came in 10th.

Cities ranked in the Top 10 for safety in the state were, in order, Ocean View, Milton, Bridgeville, Lewes, Newark, Middletown, Clayton, Elsmere, Millsboro and Selbyville.

When news of Ocean View’s outstanding ranking was released last week, Ocean View Police Chief Ken McLaughlin sent e-mails to town officials, saying he was happy and proud.

“Cheers! Great work once again!” Town Manager Carol Houck reacted.

“I’ve been spreading the good news all over Facebook! Congratulations to our great police department and town staff,” Mayor Walter Curran wrote.

Councilman Frank Twardzik directed these comments to McLaughlin: “Chief, credit for this honor goes to you and all personnel of the OVPD.  It also extends to every OV employee because we are all part of the same team with the same goal — to make OV the best place to be.”

“Ocean View consistently ranks as one of the safest towns in Delaware,” McLaughin told the Coastal Point.

“This ranking is a direct result of hiring and maintaining top-notch police personnel and the outstanding partnership the police department has with our community,” he said. “As a forward-looking police agency, we control crime, and the fear of crime, by employing a three-pronged approach of prevention, intervention and enforcement. With the support of the town council and the public, we stay ahead of the curve and address crime issues quickly.

“As southeastern Sussex continues to grow, it will be important for area police agencies to follow the recommendations of the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, International Association of Chiefs of Police, FBI and others to collaborate with neighboring agencies to combat crime,” the chief said.

Raleigh-based HomeSnacks.net, which has been analyzing data five years, explained in a news release that its experts rank municipalities in 61 categories, including best places to live, worst places to live, best neighborhoods by city, most dangerous places to live, cheapest cities and richest cities across America.

To determine the safest town in Delaware, statisticians analyzed 20 cities with more than 2,000 residents and considered factors such as property crimes and violent crimes per capita from New Castle to Delmar, Del.

“We discovered that Delaware has a bunch of amazing features that can’t be ignored. For one, if you choose to live in any of Delaware’s safest places, you’ll be front row to some of the tastiest seafood, many of the East Coast’s best beaches and some of the country’s most ambitious people.

“Heck, there’s a reason the state has the most Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. and notables like former Vice President Joe Biden and Valerie Bertinelli have been singing the praises of places like Wilmington and Bethany Beach for years. These are not only some of the best places in the state, they are some of Delaware’s safest,” the news release states.

“Specifically, we analyzed the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, which summarizes the number of property crimes and violent crimes in each city per year,” it states.

Criteria used were violent crimes per capita, including murders, assaults, rapes and armed robberies, and property crimes per capita, including thefts, burglaries and motor-vehicle thefts.

McLaughlin said his department, working with the South Bethany police “agreed to use teamwork to share resources and to solve and eliminate crime.”

“One of the things that Chief [Jason] Lovins and I are focused on — collectively — is long-term strategy. For example, we’re working with area fire departments and Sussex County EMS to develop a comprehensive active-shooter threat assessment, to better identify, prepare and respond to active-shooter threats.

“Just last evening, police from Bethany Beach, South Bethany and Ocean View conducted active-shooter training alongside members of the Bethany Beach Fire Volunteer Fire Department and Sussex County EMS,” McLaughlin said on Tuesday, Jan. 28.

“The collaborative process ultimately will result in more innovative and comprehensive longer-term solutions to the crime problems in area communities,” he said.

“With a little over 2,000 residents, the superb quality of life in this little city just two miles from the beach is the reason that it is our first safest city in Delaware for 2020,” the HomeSnack.net news release stated about Ocean View.

“The city’s motto is ‘A Place to Come Home To.’ We would have to agree. We think this is definitely why they scored a whopping 8.5 out of 10 on our ‘snackablity’ scale with an 8 out of 10 safety score. They were second in both violent crimes and property crimes. They are always looking out for each other,” it states.

Millsboro, also ranked ninth last year, was fifth safest in terms of violent crimes, with 247 per 100,000.

“There’s lots to do Millsboro. The residents here love to hang out at the beach, go on bike rides, have neighborhood picnics. They take every opportunity to get to know their community. They take safety very seriously. We think this coastal community’s motto should be ‘Feels Like Home.’ They are super-welcoming and, in true Delaware fashion, they would be happy if you called it home,” the news release states.

Millsboro Town Manager Sheldon Hudson said after talking to Police Chief Brian Calloway that “our assessments were that Millsboro is one of the safest, if not the safest, on the Route 113 corridor.”

Selbyville, also ranked 10th last year, had 360 violent crimes per 100,000.

“This Sussex County city, with close to 2,500 residents, should be called ‘The Best City to Raise a Family in Delaware’ because their park safety is on point. And kudos to this Delaware-Maryland border town. Their ‘snackability’ rating is off the charts, with their low crime and high safety score. They are also crushing it with their strong job market. They scored an 8.5 of 10. Busy people equal less naughty people. If that doesn’t say safe, we don’t know what does,” the news release states.


By Susan Canfora
Staff Reporter