UTICA, N.Y. -- You've probably seen them in social media feeds -- lists. They gauge the best restaurants, the costliest cities, the cheapest vacations and more.
One recent list circulating on social media locally has Utica as the ninth most dangerous city in New York State -- up from 16th. The site, "Only in Your State" shared the list, purportedly compiled by the "RoadSnacks" site, using FBI statistics. Troubling, yes. Accurate?
"It's hard to say because I don't know what stats they used," says Utica Police Chief Mark Williams. "Did they use just part one offenses, or part one and two? I will tell you this much, I know that they ranked us ninth, but we're also the largest city in New York State absent New York City."
The chief also says some lists could be inadvertendly weighted.
"Larcenies tend to the the largest crime we investigate and we arrest for and it seems like the spike in the larcenies is the overall increase in crime rather than each individual category itself," said Williams, adding that in some key areas, violent crime in the city is down.
"When I looked at our stats 2019 compared to 2018, we were actually down in three of our four violent crime rates...we were down slightly in homicides, down slightly in aggravated assaults and we were also down in rapes," he added.
The chief says the department is currently finalizing its list of goals and objectives for the year, and will release them soon as part of their annual report.