Newburgh mayor disputes city rank as 9th-most-dangerous in U.S.
Newburgh's mayor on Monday challenged a website's ranking of it as the ninth-most-dangerous city in the country based on 2011 data.
"Already, we've discovered several of those numbers are not accurate," said Mayor Judy Kennedy. "What I can see ... is that they've mixed City of Newburgh data with Town of Newburgh data."
Kennedy said she is having the Newburgh Police Department feed its own statistics into the formulas used by the NeighborhoodScout.com website to see how the numbers compare. She expects results Tuesday.
"I'm trying to use the same data as they did," she said. "I may have a news conference on this. I think we have to tell our side of the story."
According to NeighborhoodScout.com, the City of Newburgh had 531 violent crimes in 2011, or 18.29 crimes per 1,000 residents, making it safer than only 4 percent of the cities in the United States.
The NeighborhoodScout.com website said that Newburgh's rate of violent crime per 1,000 people placed it behind only Nos. 1-8: East St. Louis, Ill.; Camden, N.J.; Flint, Mich.; West Memphis, Ark.; Saginaw, Mich.; Detroit; Atlantic City; and St. Louis.
A call to the mayor of Poughkeepsie was not immediately returned.
According to the NeighborhoodScout.com website, the data are collected from 17,000 U.S. law enforcement agencies, and each crime is assigned to the city that has law enforcement responsibility. Its method provides an "accurate representation" of the crimes that occur in a locale rather than only the crimes reported by a single agency, the site says.
Location Inc., a Worcester, Mass., company that owns NeighborhoodScout.com, describes itself as an 11-year-old geographic research and data mining company. The company's founder and chief executive is Andrew Schiller, who earned a doctorate in geography at Clark University and formerly worked as a scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
In a detailed email explanation of its data for Newburgh, Schiller said that 527 incidents of violent crime were reported by Newburgh police and four came from State Police in Orange County. And in terms of the analysis they used, the mathematical formula is utilized across the board for all municipalities.
Kennedy complained that Web surfers automatically assume that information posted on the Internet is accurate.
"There's a habit in America that whatever they see on a website is true," she said. "We've made a lot of progress in getting positive things going in the City of Newburgh."