June 28, 2017 | John McLain
I have not always lived in New Jersey, but everyone on the McLain Realty Team so far has moved around the country and then came back home.  Most of the reasons was to raise a family where they grew up.  I personally grew up in a small town called Belvidere, which was literally a mile square.  My graduating class had 102 people in it and you bet I knew everyone's name.  My parents made a wise decision because growing up in this small Victorian town was a great experience.  Yes there was the "Big Fish, Small Pond" syndrome that most people experience while living there but it was safe.

While the list used various data to define which towns and cities in the Unites States excel at creating safer environments for families, ranging from the Elderly, to the most vulnerable of children and adults.  Yet, not all of these lists are entirely accurate and all depends on what criteria is used.  For example, some communities that rated highly on this list have also rated very low on others, such as Toms River.  Toms River has routinely appeared on annual lists showing towns with growing and higher number of heroin cases.

All that said, the New Jersey towns were helped by the state's family-friendly towns that show New Jersey has the second-highest high school graduation rate, among other qualities.   Toms River was singled out for having a youth services department that specifically focuses on after-school and summer camps tailored to provide services to kids in need.

"The SafeWise team reviewed reported sex offender concentration, state graduation rates, overall school quality ranking, and FBI violent crime data. The organization also considered parks and recreational opportunities as well as special programs focused on providing services for kids and families.
"While lots of communities strive to provide a safe environment for their residents, the cities on our list performed the best considering these factors specifically important to raising a family," the report said.

Here is the New Jersey list, with a little synopsis that addresses why each community was chosen within the top 30:
  • #7 Monroe Township, Middlesex County: "Residents are attracted by the fantastic educational opportunities in Monroe Township, which was voted best high school in America in 2014 by US News."
  • #9 Middletown: "Middletown Township’s calendar is packed with family activities like community fossil hunts, movies in the park, and mother-daughter afternoon teas."
  • #11 Wayne: "The city has nearly 2,000 acres of parkland, which includes swimming facilities, community gardens, and dozens of playgrounds."
  • #13 Toms River: "New Jersey’s stellar graduation rates are just the beginning of what Toms River Township has to offer students."
  • #17 Bridgewater: "Travel inland to the friendly, tree-lined neighborhoods of Bridgewater Township, and you’ll find more than great parks and youth recreation opportunities."
  • #22 Hillsborough
  • #31 Old Bridge
  • #35 Jackson
  • #43 Manchester
  • #47 Parsippany-Troy Hills
What do you think?  Was your town safe when you were growing up?  Has it been turning into a nightmare lately?  Let us know!

Source:  Safewise.com and Patch.com



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