COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ) — Columbia was ranked the “Safest City in America” by WalletHub for the fourth consecutive year.

The ranking was out of 182 cities and was based on criteria, home and community safety, natural disaster risk and financial safety.

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“This accolade is a testament to the excellent quality of life we cherish in Howard County,” said County Executive Calvin Ball. “For many of us, home is somewhere you feel secure and part of an inclusive community. We all want to be and feel safe in our neighborhoods. I want to thank our police officers, firefighters and paramedics, social workers, community advocates, and engaged residents for working together to achieve this honor for our community once again. Public safety and keeping our community safe remains a top priority of mine. I recognize that we still have work to do and will continue to make sure every community in Howard County is and feels the safest it can be.”

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“Howard County continues to have one of the lowest crime rates in the state and the region,” said Police Chief Lisa Myers. “We focus on restorative justice programs to reduce recidivism and divert people away from the criminal justice system whenever possible. We also train our officers and dispatchers in crisis intervention techniques to help safely resolve mental health crises without injury or criminal arrest. When combined with our community outreach programs and commitment to equity in policing, these efforts help reduce the impact of crime on the communities we serve.”

“Columbia was built on the principle that people of all backgrounds – together – make a vibrant community,” said Columbia Association (CA) President and CEO Lakey Boyd. “The high quality of life we’re able to enjoy is achieved when each individual feels safe being exactly who they are, living in their neighborhoods, sending their kids to school and enjoying public spaces. CA is grateful to be part of that mission, and this team continues to be committed to providing places and programs where everyone feels welcome and safe in their environment. We thank everyone who works tirelessly to earn Columbia this kind of recognition.”

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CBS Baltimore Staff