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Local Minnesota town ranked one of safest cities in state

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A customer looks at a La Crescent post card. A customer looks at a La Crescent post card.
A La Crescent police vehicle parked. A La Crescent police vehicle parked.
A customer walks into a downtown business. A customer walks into a downtown business.
La Crescent, MN (WXOW) -

Those looking for a safe place to raise their kids don't have to look far.

When families look to relocate, they often look at factors such as school graduation rates, accessibility to transportation and crime statistics. A new survey recently ranked La Crescent as one of the safest cities in Minnesota.

Apple Valley Gifts owner Ellen Mades believes La Crescent, the town she was born and raised in, can't be beat anywhere else.

"It's a small town, very friendly town," Mades explained. "We've got lots of activities as far as other businesses and restaurants. Things for people to come and visit."

Mades says it's not uncommon to see people walk from their homes to shop at her store.

"You can walk through the streets of downtown and feel safe," she added.

She attributes it to the efforts of the La Crescent Police Department. Chief Doug Stavenau says the department's experience is key.

"I would say that we are in excess of 100 years if you would total up the department," Stavenau said.

SafeWise ranked La Crescent as the 10th safest city in Minnesota with a violent crime rate under 1 per 1,000. The chief believes community policing continues to drive that number down and help quickly solve calls when they come up.

"You might not be comfortable reporting it to me or another guy on the department, but this officer over here you do have a relationship with, you can talk to him more privately or comfortably," Stavenau explained. 

The city's mayor points to La Crescent's size. He says it can't just be on the police.

"People have been born and raised here in the community." Mayor Mike Poellinger said. "So they even look out for their neighbors. So it's really a community effort."

Like any other city, La Crescent will see faces come and go, but Mades says it won't take long to remember the new ones.

"You can greet your customers and they know me. It's just a great feeling to live in a town like this," Mades said.

As a state, Minnesota has seen it's lowest crime rate in 50 years according to FBI crime statistics. 

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