The trade group that published a recent study naming McKeesport one of the most dangerous cities in America defended its statistics after the city’s mayor criticized the report.
McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko accused the study of using “manipulated statistics” and “unethical scare tactics” to sell home security systems.
The study, conducted by the National Council for Home Safety and Security, ranked McKeesport as the fourth most dangerous out of 100 cities for 2019. It was posted on Alarms.org, the council’s website.
Lauren Johnson, spokeswoman for the council, denied the mayor’s claims.
She said the study used data submitted to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting system, which law enforcement agencies willingly submit information to each year.
“The characteristics we looked at include rates of violent and non-violent crime as well as the number of reported police officers employed within cities to tend to said crime,” Johnson said in a Thursday e-mail to the Tribune-Review. “This information is publicly available. We simply arrange it in a way that is easy to consume.”
Johnson said the council’s primary objective is to disseminate information about safety and create studies that people will find interesting.
Johnson commended steps the city is taking to improve.
“Any city that is that clearly and openly involved in its betterment is all a resident could ask for,” Johnson said.
She said the council conducts several studies throughout the year to highlight the safest areas, such as the safest cities within states, the safest cities in the country and the safest colleges campuses.