Let's face it, if you are going to raise your kids in a crime-free environment, South Florida isn't your best option. That said, there certainly are some blissful pockets in this fallen landscape of face-eating zombies, coke-crazed baddies, hucksters, con men, predators, and maniacs. According to a new list of the 20 safest cities in the Sunshine State, two corners of Broward rank among the best places to rest your head in a crime-free environment. Barry, cue up the drumroll...
Ladies and gents, the safest place in Florida is... Parkland!
Which is... in Broward County, in case you've never heard of it. Don't worry if you haven't. Clocking in at just under 24,000 residents, Parkland is 13 square miles of suburban bliss squeezed against the Everglades in the western part of the county. According to Safe Choice Security News, the organization that put together the top 20 list, FBI data shows Parkland has only 0.85 violent crimes per 1,000 residents and 9.5 property crimes per the same.
Slotting in second to Parkland is its neighbor, Weston, the land of cookie-cutter megamansion developments and deep-pocketed Venezuelans. Safe Choice Security News says the data show Weston as having 0.9 violent crimes per 100 residents, 9.8 property crimes per 1,000.
Of course, despite its washed and scrubbed image, Weston was home to one of the most gruesome and tragic South Florida blotter items to capture the headlines in 2013: Pedro Maldonado's murder-suicide involving his wife, 17-year-old son, and a crossbow. But tabloid impact doesn't count much on listicles.
For the rest of the rankings, most of the slots are taken up by locations scattered around the other major metro areas. (Including a place actually called Niceville.) North Palm Beach (16) and Margate (19) also earned props for their safety, but otherwise, nothing else from the region. Technically, Key Biscayne is on there too in the caboose position, but come on, no one really lives out there. Overall, the lack of a bigger Broward County presence is a little surprising... or maybe it shouldn't be.