Corrected data from home security provider SafeWise now ranks Kirkland as #19 of the 50 safest cities in Washington.
In a February 5th opinion piece titled, Kirkland Ranked 50 out of 50 WA Cities in Safety, statistics were quoted from www.SafeWise.com which listed Kirkland at the bottom of a list of the safest cities in Washington State. While some may view that ranking as an achievement, this writer questioned why Kirkland didn't rank higher. As it turns out, SafeWise was wrong and they have since updated their website to reflect Kirkland's new ranking: 19/50.
The original article caught the eye of Kirkland Police Chief Eric Olsen, who kindly responded in this op-ed. The Chief contacted SafeWise to learn more about their methodology since their ranking of Kirkland crime stats was not in line with the reality of the situation in Kirkland.
Sure enough, the data used to calculate the rankings on SafeWise's website was in error. Some of the crime statistics were erroneously comparing the number of crimes committed to Kirkland's pre-annexation population of approximately 50,000. The correct calculation would be to compare the number of crimes committed to Kirkland's post-annexation population of over 81,000.
Following this discovery, SafeWise updated their website to reflect the correct data and gave Kirkland a new ranking of 19 of the 50 safest Washington cities.
The new ranking shows Kirkland in a rather good light. A review of the 18 cities ranked higher than Kirkland shows them all to be substantially smaller cities than Kirkland. In fact, Kirkland out scored Redmond (22), Issaquah (25) and Bothell (29). Bellevue was not included in the ranking.
Thank you to Chief Olsen for following up on this subject and setting the record straight.