Willow Springs is the safest town in the area, according to a recently published article in the Southtown/Sun-Times newspaper. Highlighting the results of a safety study performed by the organization “Safe Wise,” the article noted that Willow Springs ranked 1st in the South Suburbs due to its low crime rates. Ranked 20th overall in the State, Willow Springs joined the company of other top-20 towns in the Chicago area including Lake Forest, Inverness, Western Springs, Sugar Grove, and Lindenhurst.
In its report, “The 50 Safest Cities in Illinois,” Safe Wise said it compiled information from the most recent FBI Crime Report along with its own independent research. To make the list, a city had to have a population of more than 5,000 as of 2012 and needed to meet criteria regarding both violent and property crimes, according to FBI statistics from 2012. Analyzing these crimes, Safe Wise noted that it then calculated the chance of these crimes happening out of 1,000 in order to level the playing field for the different populations of each city.
Mayor Alan Nowaczyk said continued emphasis on sharing information with residents as it becomes available has paid dividends.
“The key is getting the word out quickly whether there is crime here or in a nearby community. This has always been a very involved, tight-knit community. People look out for each other and work together with our emergency personnel to keep our town safe,” said Mayor Nowaczyk.
In addition to reverse 911 phone system warnings, in 2012 Mayor Nowaczyk directed a door-to-door police initiative in response to a report of burglaries in the area. The result was a local resident providing the description of a van used by a Chicago burglary ring which preyed on Willow Springs and several surrounding communities. Working together in a police task force, Willow Springs was created with making the arrest in the case.
“If you make the extra effort, if you give people with opportunity to come forward by reaching out to them, you can make your community safe. It also becomes a deterrent to any other would-be criminals,” the Mayor added.
The Safe Wise Reports described Willow Springs in the following manner:
“The homey village of Willow Springs begs visitors to don a cozy sweater and watch the city’s children play with a steaming cup of coffee at the city park. And you can do so with the peace of mind that there were only four violent crimes reported in 2012 – impressive for a town of over 5,000 people.
This tranquil, yet involved, community hosts many local events such as an annual Holiday and Remembrance concert and car shows. This rural modest village was also used as a set location for the film “The Lake House” starring Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves. Just as Bullock and Reeves’ characters fell in love, humble Willow Springs could be the perfect place for you to find that special someone.”
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.72
Property Crimes per 1,000: 6.67