CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with West Texas A&M University announced Thursday that the university, as well as the town it resides in, has been named one of the safest places to attend college in the United States.
According to a news release from the university, SafeWise, a national online resource on safety and security, named Canyon as the 24th safest college town in the United States and the safest city in Texas on the list. No other cities from the state of Texas made the top 50.
The SafeWise organization analyzed crime data from the FBI for more than 420 cities which report the lowest violent crimes and property crimes per 1,000 residents. To qualify, cities must have populations of 15,000 or more and be home to higher education institutions with four-year degrees.
According to the release, Canyon was cited for having 0.9 violent crimes per 1,000 people and 9.4 property crimes per 1,000 people. Previously, West Texas A&M University was ranked first in the state and 10th nationally for safety by Your Local Security, an additional national security association.
“Our WT agencies and those in the area around the University are very proactive in ensuring the safest communities that we can provide,” Robert D. Byrd, the university’s assistant chief of police, said in the release. “We’re very concerned about the safety of our students, staff and faculty, and we do our very best to serve everyone.”
Officials with the university relate the success to the recent adoption of Safezone, a free app that offers non-emergency assistance, first-aid calls for medical assistance and emergency calls if the user feels threatened or needs urgent help, the release said. The university also highlights their collaboration with the city of Canyon.
“We strive to have a strong and collaborative relationship with the University Police Department to work towards having the safest environment for Canyon and our University,” Canyon CIty Manager Joe Price said in the release. “Our citizens, visitors and WT students and employees play an active role in our community to proactively help make it a safe place. They have a strong support for our brothers and sisters in both of our policing agencies.”