Editorial: Is Topeka safe?

Anyone who has tuned into the local news with any regu­larity lately has been exposed to a seemingly endless string of headlines spotlighting trage­dy and tumult occurring in the Capital City.

Accounts of senseless shoot­ings, fatal auto accidents and other horrific acts of human atrocity appear to have become par for our local media’s course as of late.

For newcomers to the area, it might seem like Topeka is more a crime-ridden cess pool than it is the prospering city of oppor­tunity it’s being sold as by local leaders.

While crime rates might be lower now than they were at the turn of the century, recent inci­dents, and the massive amount of media attention they’ve gar­nered, only supports to the no­tion that the former is far more true than the latter.

So is Topeka really that bad? If perception truly is reality, then an argument could be made that, yes, Topeka really is that bad.

Is this just a case of the media sensationalizing tragedy for the sake of selling a story? Are we, as information consumers, over­eating at a buffet of calamity?

Perhaps we are, but the notion of an increasingly violent Tope­ka is not without merit. Accord­ing to NeighborhoodScout.com, which tracks crime rates across the country, Topeka is only saf­er than 5 percent of the cities in America and experiences al­most twice the amount of vio­lent crime as the rest of Kansas.

These statistics are alarming to say the least, but also pale in comparison to nearby cities like Chicago and St. Louis.

While there’s no easy answer to the current crime problem in Topeka, there’s also no reason to avoid the city streets altogether. And paranoia can only feed into the idea that Topeka is an unsafe place to live.

As you head out for fall break, remember that caution and dili­gence are keys to survival and , most importantly, the good defi­nitely outweighs the bad.