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Homicide at 3711 Meramec (copy)

Bystanders watch as the victim of a homicide is removed from the scene on the 3700 block of Meramec street on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Photo by Troy Stolt, tstolt@post-dispatch.com

For the last few years, the safeness of St. Louis, or lack of it, has hurt our rankings in a multitude of areas.

So there's little surprise that a list whose core subject is "safety" would have us close to the bottom of the pile.

In the area of "home and community safety," our fair burg came in at No. 179 out of the 182 largest cities in the U.S., according to a list from personal finance website WalletHub.

The only cities deemed less safe were Detroit; San Bernardino, California; and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Specifically, only three cities had higher rates (per capita) of assaults than St. Louis — Birmingham, Alabama; Memphis, Tennessee; and Detroit — and only three had worse traffic-fatality rates — Bakersfield, California; Huntington, West Virginia; and Casper, Wyoming.

Other factors used to compile the rankings included forcible rapes, thefts, hate crimes, number of sex offenders, drug-poisoning deaths, pedestrian fatalities, and road quality.

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And all this is happening while St. Louis is tied for first, with four other cities, for having the most law enforcement officers per capita.

That means that all eight of our major neighbors finished better when it came to home and community safety, though none cracked the top 100: Nashville, Tennessee (114); Chicago (122); Louisville, Kentucky (129); Indianapolis (133); Cincinnati (144); Springfield, Missouri (145); Kansas City (163); and Memphis (172).

For the record, St. Louis police report there have been 183 homicides so far this year, up from the 167 at this time in 2018.

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