Last week, McPherson was ranked no. 17 out of the top 25 safest cities in Kansas. Factors that played into McPherson’s score of 75.94, which is calculated by considering variables like crime rates, types of crimes and demographics.

In McPherson, there were 18 violent crimes and 503 property crimes committed in a population of about 13,000, and a citizen-to-officer ratio of one per 439 citizens.

According to SAFEHOME, which conducted the study, Kansas alone is home to four of the top 500 safest cities in the nation, with the top 25 safest cities in the state having a range of 89.03 to 58.03.

SAFEHOME reports that smaller and more sparsely populated cities have much higher safety ratings than the larger and densely populated areas; there is an average of one officer per 450 residents across the 25 cities ranked.

While most scored an average of 89.03 to 58.03, there are still things each town could improve. In McPherson, residents could still do better in general safety practices, such as making sure doors and windows are locked every night.

"The 9 p.m. rule was established and promoted via social media, including ours, to encourage community members to start a routine at 9 p.m. to complete many of these safety and security measures. We encourage our community to not only use these measures at 9 p.m., but all the time," said McPherson Police Department Executive Sergeant and Public Information Officer Mark Brinck.

With the holidays right around the corner and with more residents out and about, burglars are also making visits.

Brinck provided a few tips to follow around the holiday season and all seasons:

— Property crime may be reduced by property owners adding security lighting in dimly lit areas around homes and businesses

— Remove valuables from automobiles or move them out of sight

— Move valuables from outside to inside secured homes, buildings or behind fences

— Lock automobiles and take keys inside

— Lock homes and outbuildings by 9 p.m.

As McPherson's citizen-to-officer ratio is relatively high, law enforcement officers play a big role in the safety of the community. To ensure top quality officers are on patrol, the police department chooses only the best of the best.

"Since 2011, Chief Robert McClarty has implemented hiring, selection and training programs, which have resulted in hiring of the best quality officers available for our community. Our officers have experience in training and education, which is of great benefit to our community and department," Brinck said. "All of our officers contribute to the safety of our community."

Not every city is perfect — there are always ways to improve the safest cities in Kansas. Community participation in keeping McPherson safe is key and following simple tips could ensure safety for everyone.

For more information about safe practices in McPherson, call the McPherson Police Department at 620-245-1200 or visit their website at http://mcpcity.com/171/Police-Department. For more information about the Safe City ranking, visit SAFEHOME's website at https://safehome.org/safest-cities/ks.

Contact Brooke Haas by email at bhaas@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow her on Twitter @ MacSentinel.com