RIO RANCHO, N.M. — Corrales is the safest city in New Mexico, and Rio Rancho ranks as the fourth-safest, according to Safewise, an independent review website.
Raton and Los Alamos were rated as second- and third-safest, respectively. Raton rose three placings in the ranking compared to last year, and Los Alamos dropped by one rank, according to Safewise.
According to the website, Safewise used FBI crime data from 2017, the most recent available at the time of the rankings, to evaluate safety.
Corrales, with a population of about 8,600 and median income of about $84,600, has a violent crime rate of 0.58 crimes per 1,000 residents and a property crime rate of 8.93 incidents per 1,000 residents, according to Safewise. This is its second year with the top ranking.
“We are very pleased to make the top of this list for the second year,” said Corrales Police Chief Victor Mangiacapra. “Our officers work hand-in-hand with village residents in a community-based policing model. People are quick to report anything suspicious, and our officers are quick to respond. We would rather go on a hundred false alarms than miss one real incident.”
Rio Rancho, listed as having a population of just more than 97,400 and median income of about $63,000, had a violent crime rate of 1.71 incidents per 1,000 residents and a property crime rate of 20.42 per 1,000 residents, according to Safewise. The City of Vision rose by two ranks this year.
“We take pride in being recognized as one of the safest cities in the state of New Mexico,” said Rio Rancho Police Chief Stewart Steele. “Much of our community policing effort focuses on strengthening our relationship with the community and educating citizens on how they can help prevent crimes. Our presence at community events such as Coffee with a Cop, Citizen’s Police Academy and, most recently, Avengers with a Cop provides the educational platform we need to do that.
“In the end, crime prevention is key and is ultimately the result of teamwork between police and citizens. I applaud both!”
Rankings are based on the number of reported violent crimes — aggravated assault, murder, rape and robbery, specifically. If there was a tie, Safewise factored in incidents of burglary, arson, motor vehicle theft and other thefts, according to the website.
Safewise staff wrote that they calculated the rates of crime per 1,000 people in a community and only reported on municipalities with populations above the median population for the state.
Rio Rancho’s population is larger than any of the cities ranked above it, according to the website. It’s five times more populated than Los Alamos, which has the next-highest population in the top four.
Rio Rancho also has a median income lower than Corrales or Los Alamos by more than $20,000 and more than $38,000, respectively. Its median income is about $35,000 higher than Raton’s, according to Safewise.
The website gave the Town of Bernalillo a safety rank of No. 22, and Albuquerque was No. 29. Rated the least safe of New Mexico cities considered was Española, with a violent crime rate of 29.34 incidents per 1,000 people and a property crime rate of 47.52 per 1,000 residents.
New Mexico’s 10 safest cities for 2019, per Safewise
City Violent crime rate Property crime rate Population Median income
(per 1,000) (per 1,000) (per year)
Corrales 0.58 8.93 8,625 $84,583
Raton 1.34 39.11 5,983 $27,902
Los Alamos 1.65 5.11 18,204 $101,399
Rio Rancho 1.71 20.42 97,444 $63,180
Edgewood 1.83 24.63 3,816 $67,534
Portales 2.01 37.06 11,928 $32,065
Anthony 2.26 8.61 9,296 $24,398
Truth or 3.36 27.40 5,949 $27,350
Ruidoso 3.36 28.59 7,729 $41,778
Santa Fe 3.43 37.67 84,358 $53,922