Anxiously awaiting fall

Members of the Jennings Garden Club decorate Founder’s Park in downtown Jennings with fall decorations.

JENNINGS - Jennings has been named one of Louisiana’s 10 safest cities, according to a recent study

HomeSnacks, a geographical rankings website, moved Jennings up on its list of 10 safest places to live in Louisiana for 2020.

Jennings was ranked the state’s seventh safest city overall, with top 10 rankings in both violent and property crimes. The same study conducted last year ranked Jennings 17th on the list.

“To jump 10 spots from 17 to number seven is a recognition for the entire community,” Mayor Henry Guinn said. “To be in the top 10 as one of the safest cities in the state is definitely an achievement and something to be proud of.”

The only other Southwest Louisiana city to make the list was DeRidder which ranked ninth on the list, down for its eighth ranking last year.

“Jennings is the only city on this lists that wasn’t here last year, so the city has clearly been working hard to be a safer place,” Chris Kolmar, of HomeSnacks wrote.

Guinn said the ranking is a testament to the Jennings Police Department, Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff’s Office, all other law enforcement and to the residents of Jennings.

“Over the course of several years the city has had kind of a black eye because of different events,” Guinn said. “This ranking shows the community, the parish and the nation we are on the right track to be one of the best cities.”

In order to continue the pace the city will have to continue to put pressure where the trouble is at, he said.

“As a small community we know where the trouble spots are and we have to address those issues,” he said.

The city is taking an aggressive approach to remove blighted properties and eliminate illicit activities taking place in those areas, he said.

The city recently took action to begin the cleanup and removal of 15 blighted properties throughout the city.

“We will continue to tackle those troubled areas, the blighted properties and to eliminate the areas where bad things are taking place,” he said.

He urged the public to continue to be the eyes for police and to report crimes and suspicious activities when they occur.

“Our police officers cannot be every where all the time,” he said. “We rely on the community to report crimes to us.”

HomeSnacks used the latest violent crime and property crime data from the FBI to rank the safest cities in Louisiana with more than 5,000 residents. The survey lists Jennings’ population as 9,949.

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