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The 2012 Most Dangerous States
"1" is Most Dangerous, "50" is Safest

ALPHA ORDER                                                          RANK ORDER

                                    2011      STATE              SUM        2011  Change    2012     STATE                SUM       2012 Change

17 Alabama 6.78 18 -1   1 Nevada 58.11 1 0
7 Alaska 23.05 9 -2   2 New Mexico 34.85 3 -1
3 Arizona 34.66 4 -1   3 Arizona 34.66 4 -1
13 Arkansas 10.79 15 -2   4 Maryland 34.50 5 -1
9 California 17.63 10 -1   5 Tennessee 31.79 8 -3
22 Colorado (1.53) 22 0   6 South Carolina 31.50 6 0
40 Connecticut (37.64) 39 1   7 Alaska 23.05 9 -2
18 Delaware 6.38 24 -6   8 Florida 21.06 7 1
8 Florida 21.06 7 1   9 California 17.63 10 -1
20 Georgia 5.30 13 7   10 Louisiana 17.55 2 8
28 Hawaii (16.17) 26 2   11 Michigan 16.55 12 -1
39 Idaho (37.21) 40 -1   12 Texas 13.85 11 1
21 Illinois 2.27 19 2   13 Arkansas 10.79 15 -2
25 Indiana (14.44) 28 -3   14 Washington 9.37 16 -2
43 Iowa (42.78) 43 0   15 Oklahoma 8.44 14 1
27 Kansas (15.64) 25 2   16 North Carolina 8.33 17 -1
34 Kentucky (27.00) 33 1   17 Alabama 6.78 18 -1
10 Louisiana 17.55 2 8   18 Delaware 6.38 24 -6
48 Maine (61.37) 49 -1   19 Missouri 5.59 20 -1
4 Maryland 34.50 5 -1   20 Georgia 5.30 13 7
30 Massachusetts (21.77) 30 0   21 Illinois 2.27 19 2
11 Michigan 16.55 12 -1   22 Colorado (1.53) 22 0
32 Minnesota (25.93) 35 -3   23 Ohio (1.92) 23 0
24 Mississippi (7.95) 21 3   24 Mississippi (7.95) 21 3
19 Missouri 5.59 20 -1   25 Indiana (14.44) 28 -3
44 Montana (44.74) 42 2   26 Pennsylvania (15.06) 29 -3
37 Nebraska (32.39) 34 3   27 Kansas (15.64) 25 2
1 Nevada 58.11 1 0   28 Hawaii (16.17) 26 2
47 New Hampshire (60.85) 47 0   29 Oregon (18.13) 27 2
33 New Jersey (26.94) 32 1   30 Massachusetts (21.77) 30 0
2 New Mexico 34.85 3 -1   31 New York (25.76) 31 0
31 New York (25.76) 31 0   32 Minnesota (25.93) 35 -3
16 North Carolina 8.33 17 -1   33 New Jersey (26.94) 32 1
50 North Dakota (65.58) 50 0   34 Kentucky (27.00) 33 1
23 Ohio (1.92) 23 0   35 Rhode Island (30.22) 38 -3
15 Oklahoma 8.44 14 1   36 Virginia (31.85) 37 -1
29 Oregon (18.13) 27 2   37 Nebraska (32.39) 34 3
26 Pennsylvania (15.06) 29 -3   38 Utah (32.43) 36 2
35 Rhode Island (30.22) 38 -3   39 Idaho (37.21) 40 -1
6 South Carolina 31.50 6 0   40 Connecticut (37.64) 39 1
45 South Dakota (48.43) 45 0   41 West Virginia (37.87) 41 0
5 Tennessee 31.79 8 -3   42 Wisconsin (42.11) 44 -2
12 Texas 13.85 11 1   43 Iowa (42.78) 43 0
38 Utah (32.43) 36 2   44 Montana (44.74) 42 2
49 Vermont (62.33) 48 1   45 South Dakota (48.43) 45 0
36 Virginia (31.85) 37 -1   46 Wyoming (50.03) 46 0
14 Washington 9.37 16 -2   47 New Hampshire (60.85) 47 0
41 West Virginia (37.87) 41 0   48 Maine (61.37) 49 -1
42 Wisconsin (42.11) 44 -2   49 Vermont (62.33) 48 1
46 Wyoming (50.03) 46 0   50 North Dakota (65.58) 50 0

METHODOLOGY: The Most Dangerous State 2007 rankings are determined by a four step process. First, rates for six crime categories — murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and motor vehicle theft — are plugged into a formula that measures how a state compares to the national average for a given crime category.

Second, the outcome of this equation is then multiplied by a weight assigned to each crime category. For this year’s award, we again gave each crime category equal weight. Thus state comparisons are based purely on crime rates and how these rates stack up to the national average for a given crime category.

Third, the weighted numbers are added together to achieve state’s score ("SUM.") In the fourth and final step, these composite scores are ranked from highest to lowest to determine which states are the most dangerous and safest. Thus the farther below the national average a state’s crime rate is, the lower (and safer) it ranks. The farther above the national average, the higher (and more dangerous) a state ranks in the final list.

A Word About Crime Rankings

Morgan Quitno’s Press* annual rankings of crime in states, metro areas and cities are considered by some in the law enforcement community as controversial. The FBI and many criminologists caution against rankings according to crime rates. They correctly point out that crime levels are affected by many different factors, such as population density, composition of the population (particularly the concentration of youth), climate, economic conditions, strength of local law enforcement agencies, citizen’s attitudes toward crime, cultural factors, education levels, crime reporting practices of citizens and family cohesiveness. Accordingly, crime rankings often are deemed “simplistic” or “incomplete.”

However, this criticism is largely based on the fact that there are reasons for the differences in crime rates, not that the rates are incompatible. This would be somewhat akin to deciding not to compare athletes on their speed in the 100-yard dash because of physical or training differences. Such differences help explain the different speeds but do not invalidate the comparisons.

To be sure, crime-ranking information must be considered carefully. However the rankings tell not only an interesting, but also very important story regarding the incidence of crime in the United States. Furthermore, annual rankings not only allow for comparisons among different states and cities, but also enable leaders to track their communities’ crime trends from one year to the next.

We certainly do not want to be irresponsible in our presentation of state and city crime data. Our publications help concerned Americans learn how their communities fare in the fight against crime. The first step in making our cities and states safer is to understand the true magnitude of their crime problems. This will only be achieved through straightforward data that all of us can use and understand.

* Morgan Quitno Press, a Kansas-based publishing and research company.


States With the Worst Speeding Ticket Fines

How much were you fined the last time you were stopped for speeding? Depending on where you live, the penalty could range from under a hundred bucks to a couple of thousand dollars or more, even for a first offender. All across America, local legislators seemingly have one eye on road safety and the other on cash-strapped coffers. But is it as simple as that? We take a look. And if you haven't been stopped yet, well, lucky you.

Radar Caught You Speeding - Obey The Speed Limit - Or Pay The High Fines

States with highest speeding-ticket fines

Drivers caught speeding in the states of Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Nevada and New Hampshire all are liable to be fined up to $1000, at a judge's discretion, for a first-time speeding offense, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The severity of the financial penalty also may depend upon the number of miles above the speed limit when clocked and the number of points on a driver's license, or if the offense occurred near a school or road works. A driver's license may also be suspended, their car impounded, or they may face jail time.

Some states including Michigan, Texas and New Jersey, operate under so-called "driver responsibility" laws, which, in some cases, can result in a further fine of up to $1000 leveled a year after the conviction. Virginia, which until 2008 had some of the strictest penalties for speeders, repealed its driver-responsibility laws last year after a public outcry. Georgia, meanwhile, has just voted to add $200 to the fine of what it terms "superspeeders," who travel more than 10 mph over the speed limit. Other states with fines of up to $500 -- which in many cases is then compounded with additional court fees -- include Maryland, Missouri and Oregon.


How to Spot Unmarked Police Cars

Ford Crown Victoria Unmarked Police VehicleMost of the time, police cars stand out. They're supposed to do that. You've likely seen plenty of Ford Crown Victoria cruisers. Also known as the CVPI (Crown Victoria Police Interceptor), it has been a staple of many state, county, and local police departments since 1992. Departments often use the unmarked Crown Victoria for traffic patrols. But what do officers  drive when they don't want to be noticed? The Ford Crown Victoria has been a police workhorse for nearly two decades. It was introduced in 1992. Often, police departments will use marked and unmarked versions of the "Vickies" for traffic patrol work. But how can you tell whether you're about to speed pass a sedan issued to the Water and Sewage Department or to the Police Department?



Covert Crown Victoria: Spotting the clues:

Front push bar - Front bumper lights - Remote spotlights - Mirror-mounted flashers - Radar unit and radios on dash

Steel wheels with chrome center hubcaps - Bars between front and rear seats to keep the bad guys in their place - Police antenna on trunk lid Short police radio antenna on trunk - Rear-facing radar - Light flashers in rear window - Government license plate - Police Interceptor badge

Front push bar
Front bumper lights
Remote spotlights
Mirror-mounted flashers
Radar unit and radios on dash


Steel wheels with chrome center hubcaps
Bars between front and rear seats to keep the bad guys in their place
Police antenna on trunk lid

Short police radio antenna on trunk
Rear-facing radar
Light flashers in rear window
Government license plate
Police Interceptor badge



7 Things Cops Should Never Say To Anyone


Consider, you are on patrol and you see someone suspicious you want to talk with, so you most naturally say, “Hey you! Come here!” Verbal Judo teaches that “natural language is disastrous!” and this provides a wonderful example. You have just warned the subject that he is in trouble. “Come here” means to you, “Over here, you are under my authority.” But to the subject it means, “Go away-quickly!” The words are not tactical for they have provided a warning and possibly precipitated a chase that would not have been necessary had you, instead, walked casually in his direction and once close said, “Excuse me. Could I chat with momentarily?” Notice this question is polite, professional, and calm.

Also notice, you have gotten in close, in his “space” though not his “face,” and now you are too close for him to back off, giving you a ration of verbal trouble, as could have easily been the case with the “Hey you! Come here!” opening.

The ancient samurai knew never to let an opponent pick the place of battle for then the sun would always be in your eyes! “Come here” is loose, lazy, and ineffective language. Easy, but wrong. Tactically, “May I chat with you” is far better, for not only have you picked the place to talk, but anything the subject says, other than yes or no-the question you asked-provides you with intelligence regarding his emotional and/or mental state. Let him start any ‘dance’ of resistance.

Point: Polite civility can be a weapon of immense power!

#6. “CALM DOWN!”

Consider this verbal blunder. You approach some angry folks and you most naturally say, “Hey, calm down!” This command never works, so why do we always use it? Because it flows naturally from our lips!

What’s wrong with it? One, the phrase is a criticism of their behavior and suggests that they have no legitimate right to be upset! Hence, rather than reassuring them that things will improve, which should be your goal, you have created a new problem! Not only is there the matter they were upset about to begin with, but now they need to defend their reaction to you! Double the trouble!

Better, put on a calming face and demeanor-in Verbal Judo we say, ‘Chameleon up’-look the person in the eye and say, gently, “It’s going to be all right. Talk to me. What’s the matter?” The phrase "What’s the matter?’ softens the person up to talk and calm down; where ‘Calm down’ hardens the resistance. The choice is yours!


We teach in Verbal Judo that ‘repetition is weakness on the streets!’ and you and I both know that this phrase is almost always a lie. You will say it again, and possibly again and again!

Parents do it all the time with their kids, and street cops do it with resistant subjects, all the time! The phrase is, of course, a threat, and voicing it leaves you only one viable option-action! If you are not prepared to act, or cannot at the time, you lose credibility, and with the loss of creditability comes the loss of power and safety!

Even if you are prepared to act, you have warned the subject that you are about to do so and forewarned is forearmed! Another tactical blunder! Like the rattlesnake you have made noise, and noise can get you hurt or killed. Better to be more like the cobra and strike when least suspected!

If you want to stress the seriousness of your words, say something like, ‘Listen, it’s important that you get this point, so pay close attention to what I’m about to tell you.’

If you have used Verbal Judo’s Five Steps of Persuasion you know that we act after asking our “nicest, most polite question,”

“Sir, is there anything I could say that would get you to do A, B and C? I’d like to think so?”

If the answer is NO, we act while the subject is still talking! We do not telegraph our actions nor threaten people, but we do act when verbal persuasion fails.


Telling people “be more reasonable” has many of the same problems as “Calm Down!” Everyone thinks h/she is plenty reasonable given the present circumstances! I never have had anyone run up to me and say, “Hey, I know I’m stupid and wrong, but here’s what I think!” although I have been confronted by stupid and wrong people! You only invite conflict when you tell people to “be more reasonable!”

Instead, make people more reasonable by the way in which you handle them, tactically! Use the language of reassurance-“Let me see if I understand your position,” and then paraphrase-another VJ tactic!-back to them their meaning, as you see it, in your words! Using your words will calm them and make them more reasonable because your words will (or better be!) more professional and less emotional.

This approach absorbs the other’s tension and makes him feel your support. Now you can help them think more logically and less destructively, without making the insulting charge implied in your statement, “Be more reasonable!”

Again, tactics over natural reaction!


If ever there was a phrase that irritates people and makes you look weak, this is it!

If you are enforcing rules/laws that exist for good reason, don’t be afraid to explain that! Your audience may not agree with or like it, but at least they have been honored with an explanation. Note, a true sign of REspect is to tell people why, and telling people why generates voluntary compliance. Indeed, we know that at least 70% of resistant or difficult people will do what you want them to do if you will just tell them why!

When you tell people why, you establish a ground to stand on, and one for them as well! Your declaration of why defines the limits of the issue at hand, defines your real authority, but also gives the other good reason for complying, not just because you said so! Tactically, telling people why gets your ego out of it and put in its place a solid, professional reason for action.

Even at home, if all you can do is repeat, “those are the rules,” you sound and look weak because you apparently cannot support your order/request with logic or good reason. Indeed, if you can put rules or policies into context and explain how the rules or policies are good for everyone, you not only help people understand, you help them save face. Hence, you are much more likely to generate voluntary compliance, which is your goal!


This snotty, useless phrase turns the problem back on the person needing assistance. It signals this is a “you-versus-me” battle rather than an “us” discussion. The typical reaction is, “It’s not my problem. You’re the problem!”

The problem with the word problem is that it makes people feel deficient or even helpless. It can even transport people back to grade school where they felt misunderstood and underrated. Nobody likes to admit h/she has a problem. That’s a weakness! When asked, “what’s your problem?” the other already feels a failure. So the immediate natural reaction is, “I don’t have one, you do!” which is a reaction that now hides a real need for help.

Substitute tactical phrases designed to soften and open someone up, like “What’s the matter?”, “How can I help?”, or “I can see you’re upset, let me suggest . . . .”

Remember, as an officer of peace, it is your business to find ways to gather good intel and to help those in need, not to pass judgments.


A great cop-out (no pun…)! This pseudo-question, always accompanied by sarcasm, is clearly an evasion of responsibility and a clear sign of a lack of creativity! The phrase really reveals the speaker’s exasperation and lack of knowledge. Often heard from untrained sales clerks and young officers tasked with figuring out how to help someone when the rules are not clear.

When you say, “What do you want me to do about it?” you can count on two problems: the one you started with and the one you just created by appearing to duck responsibility.

Instead, tactically offer to help sort out the problem and work toward a solution. If it truly is not in your area of responsibility, point the subject to the right department or persons that might be able to solve the problem.

If you are unable or unqualified to assist and you haven’t a clue as to how to help the person, apologize. Such an apology almost always gains you an ally, one you may need at same later date. Beat cops need to remember it is important to “develop a pair of eyes” (contacts) every time they interact with the public. Had the officer said to the complainant, for example, “I’m sorry, I really do not know what to recommend, but I wish I did, I’d like to help you,” and coupled that statement with a concerned tone of voice and a face of concern, he would have gone a long way toward making that person more malleable and compliant for the police later down the road.

Remember, insult strengthens resistance and shuts the eyes. Civility weakens resistance and opens the eyes!

It’s tactical to be nice!


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