Irvine’s Safety Is Nationally Recognized

For the 14th consecutive year, Irvine is named one of the safest cities in the country

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Natalie Nguyen

Irvine families enjoy their weekend at the Irvine Spectrum and the Woodbridge Village Center.

By Sophia Stewart, Woodbridge High School

As one of the safest cities in the country, Irvine’s security is owed to the support from the police department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The FBI reported that Irvine has the lowest crime rates out of cities relative to Irvine’s large size of 250,000 residents and growing. This level of safety often reassures the larger Irvine community and most Woodbridge High students.
“I have never felt unsafe [here],” sophomore Becca Inlander said.

This sense of safety is further developed by a resource officer who is present on every high school campus in Irvine. This allows for efficient communication between schools and the police department in order to monitor the campus, conduct emergency drills and be prepared for any issues.

“We have quite a significant presence with regard to traffic safety and pedestrian safety and bike safety. Drug Abuse Resistance Education officers share with our younger students…how to avoid negative things,” Irvine Chief of Police Mike Hamel said.

Irvine students are being taught about safety starting at a young age, and this helps them grow into responsible citizens and advocates for safety.

“I hear people move to Irvine for two main things…top schools and having a very safe city. [By having] those two things occur at the same time…I think that [is what] makes Irvine unique,” Hamel said.

Irvine had an eye for building a safe city as early as the mid-1900s. Beginning in the 1950s, the Irvine Company asked architect William Pereira to design a city that focused on employment, design, open space and education. The development of Irvine has reflected these aspects and united the citizens of Irvine in creating a more tight-knit community.

Additionally, Irvine is safe not only because of the efforts of the Irvine Company and law enforcement but also due to the dedication of Irvine’s citizens. The level of collaboration between members of the community makes it possible to maintain Irvine’s secure atmosphere.

“We have excellent support from our elected officials, [and] the most important part is that on the side of our police cars it says ‘we work in partnership with our community,’” Hamel said.

Although Irvine is named the safest city, the police department is working to improve its safety with means of combating the population growth, which makes Irvine more prone to crime.

“Irvine’s population doubles during the day because of how many people come in for work, and I definitely think that takes out a factor of its safety and can become a problem,” sophomore Aeneas Vaswani said.

Because of the population increase, during the past few years of Irvine’s growth, the Irvine police department received 10 percent more daytime crime calls each year based on collected data. To combat the increasing population and reduce crime rates, they are hiring more officers and are asking the community to work together to maintain a secure and welcoming environment.

“Every city is unique, every city does a great job serving their residents…because of the quality of the people that we hire, people that really care, people that put public service first, put the community and their interests before their own interests, and so all that taken together… [creates] a formula for success,” Hamel said.

This story was originally published on Golden Arrow on January 13, 2020.