Last week an annual report was released ranking metropolitan areas across the country based on the crime statistics. The Myrtle Beach area came in at No. 14; Florence/Darlington was ranked even higher in the sixth spot.
So, according to this report, our communities are some of the worst places to live based on criminal activity. Other areas listed in the top of the rankings include New Orleans, Detroit, St. Louis, Las Vegas and other major cities.
I've been to Detroit, Vegas and St. Louis, and actually lived in New Orleans for a few years, and I can tell you that there is a huge difference on the "I feel safe" scale when comparing this region to those cities.
Each year when this report comes out, area leaders debate the merits of the rankings due to our unique circumstances, including the influx of tourists, the way we report our crimes, the types of crimes included, etc.
In our local view, we agree that the rankings are skewed for a variety of reasons. And although we're nowhere close to being as bad as the rankings would suggest, we do feel we can do better and become a safer community.
Regardless of what you think of the rankings, we do have crime in our area. So instead of all us bemoaning the annual rankings that we can't control, let's do our part to make our communities safer. Let's use this as an opportunity to work towards reducing the crime that is around us. That in itself will help us drop in the rankings but more importantly it will enhance and improve the communities that we are so proud to call home.