Lynden is known for its Dutch heritage, dairy farms, churches, windmills and, of course, it’s basketball, but it turns out it has even more to boast about.
According to a report released Tuesday by the National Council for Home Safety and Security, Lynden is the second safest city in Washington state in 2018, ranking behind only Sammamish.
The report ranked 80 cities in the state with populations of at least 10,000 based on the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics on violent and property crimes. The FBI last month released its 2017 Preliminary Semiannual Crime Statistics for the time frame between January and June 2017.
The report eliminated any cities that failed to submit crime reports to the FBI, and the remaining cities were ranked based on the number or reported violent crimes (such as aggravated assault, murder, rape and robbery) and property crimes (such as burglary, arson, larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft) per 1,000 people. Violent crimes were weighted heavier than property crimes in the report, due to their severity.
Lynden, which had a listed population of 13,834, had only nine violent crimes and 134 property crimes. It ranked fifth in the state with 0.65 violent crimes per 1,000 inhabitants and third with 9.69 property crimes per 1,000 inhabitants, according to the report.
By comparison, top-ranked Sammamish, a city of 53,387, had 19 violent crimes (0.36 per 1,000) and 443 property crimes (8.30 per 1,000).
Rounding out the top five safest cities in the state were West Richland, Camas and Maple Valley.
Ferndale was the next Whatcom County city to make the list at No. 21 with 16 violent crimes (1.20 per 1,000) and 314 property crimes (23.54 per 1,000).
Bellingham checked in at No. 62 with 224 violent crimes (2.60 per 1,000) and 4,743 property crimes (55.15 per 1,000). It still ranked ahead of Yakima (No. 65), Seattle (No. 69), Tacoma (No. 77) and Spokane (No. 79), but it was just behind Everett (No. 60).
All three Whatcom County cities have improved in the past two years. A similar report by safewise.com in 2016 had Lynden ranked 10th safest in the state with 0.89 violent crimes per 1,000 and 10.25 property crimes per 1,000. Ferndale ranked 47th in that report, and Bellingham was 97th.