Richmond Hill is ranked No. 26 among Georgia’s 50 safest cities, according to the website safewise.com.
The ranking was released Monday in a blog by Carolyn Heneghan, who said residents “will appreciate Richmond Hill’s low crime rates, with only four robberies and no murders reported in 2012.”
Richmond Hill Mayor Harold Fowler was unaware of the listing, but said it was great news.
“We’ll have to see if we can move up higher on the list than that, but it does speak a lot about our police department and our quality of life,” he said.
The rankings were restricted to cities with a population of 5,000 or more, which put Pembroke out of the running.
Richmond Hill, on the other hand, has grown rapidly over the past decade and currently has a population between 12,000 and 12,500.
Fowler said the city’s growth has been driven by both good schools and by the quality of life in Richmond Hill.
The blog on safewise.com made mention of several of the city’s attractions, including J.F. Gregory Park, its museums and nature trail and “outdoor adventures, fishing and phenomenal local seafood.”
Other area cities also made the list. Port Wentworth was No. 21; Pooler was No. 27 and Rincon was No. 30.
Auburn, a town of about 7,000 in North Georgia, was ranked No. 1. Centerville, a middle-Georgia town of some 9,000 was ranked No. 50.
Safewise.com is a website that compares home security providers and reviews home security products. It apparently compared police statistics from 2012 to come up with its rankings, which were nitpicked by some readers who questioned the writer’s findings.
While there were no murders reported in 2012, the same could not be said for 2011 or 2013.
In August 2011, resident Shirley Hires was apparently killed by her boyfriend Richard Bates before he took his own life.
And in June 2013, Robert Burton of Daniel Siding Road was charged with murder after he allegedly shot and killed resident William Haymans. In December 2013, Ivette Christine Greene is believed to have taken the life of herself and her 8-year-old son in their Main Street home.
Still, Richmond Hill’s crime rate is routinely low and it has been ranked for its quality of life in the past.
The city was named a contender by Money Magazine in a 2007 feature on the 100 best places to live in the U.S.
And in 2008, the Internet site catalogs.com ranked Richmond Hill No. 9 in a list of the 10 best places to live in Georgia. That list rated Savannah as the No. 1 best place to live in Georgia.
Bryan County and Pembroke haven’t been left out of rankings, either.
In 2011, a study by the University of Wisconsin found Bryan County residents were the healthiest in the Coastal Empire. And Progressive Farmer magazine twice named Bryan as one of the 20 best rural counties to live in the South in both 2007 and 2008.
And in June 2008, city and county leaders held a community meeting to discuss the local housing market after national real estate investor Danielle Babb ranked Richmond Hill as one of the top five places in the country to buy a house during a piece on the “Cavuto” show on Fox News Network.