AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - A recent study released by a Florida company, Safe Choice Security, and reported by WKRG in Mobile, ranks two cities in our area in the top 15 most dangerous cities in the state of Alabama.
Already receiving thousands of hits on the internet, the list ranks Opelika as number 15 and Lanett as number four.
"Frankly, I don't believe it," says Opelika Mayor, Gary Fuller.
Hearing this news made Opelika officials shake their heads out of frustration.
They say the numbers used in the report are false, and company's blog lacks credibility.
"Any crime is too much crime, but to put us at number 15 in a top 15 list is not fair to the great people of Opelika, and to our community," explains Fuller.
The study says with Opelika's population of 23,000, 7.61 violent crimes and 61.80 property crimes are happening per 1000 people each year.
However, Opelika population was 23,000 in the year 2000 and has grown by nearly 5,000 people in the last 14 years.
"Our numbers are down, our population is up, our crimes stats are down, and we report all of this," says Fuller.
Lanett ranked fourth most dangerous city in the state.
The study reveals 15.99 violent crimes and 87.7 property crimes happened per 1,000 people each year.
However, the population numbers in the study are again lower than most recent census, which would in turn inflate the crime statistics.
Our team reached out to Lanett Police for reaction, but has not heard back as of this evening.
"Where we are today versus where we were a few years ago is dramatically different," says Fuller.
Bessemer Alabama was ranked as the number one most dangerous city in the state.