McKeesport’s mayor lashed out at a recent study that claimed his city was one of the most dangerous in the country.
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 based on its population for 2019.
It was posted on Alarms.org, the council’s official website.
“With today’s release of manipulated statistics by Alarms.org, the public is subjected to fear-based marketing. Frankly, this site is using unethical scare tactics to sell products such as alarm systems,” Cherepko said in a Facebook post. “The people of McKeesport are well aware of the issues we are working to rise above, but they are also aware of how we are achieving our goals. They know about all of the wonderful assets our city has to offer.”
The council could not be immediately reached for comment Wednesday. The National Council for Home Safety and Security is a national trade association focused on industry education and public knowledge about home safety and security.
The study used data submitted to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting system in 2017.
Cherepko said in his post that the city is working to overcome blight and crime in the community.
He referenced the McKeesport Rising Project. In its first year, the project helped facilitate condemning and demolishing more than 300 abandoned properties, paving streets across the city, installing “virtual checkpoint” cameras in high-traffic areas and neighborhood intersections, funding for youth mentoring and outreach programs, and saturation patrols, which have resulted in a decrease in local crime statistics, the mayor said.