Just as Pueblo, Co., is focusing on hiring a new police chief, a new book based on FBI crime statistics for 2009 ranks Pueblo as having the highest crime rate among Colorado cities — a conclusion the city says is inaccurate. Pueblo police say the FBI compilation is wrong on the city homicide total, listing 13 when there were only six, the Pueblo Chieftain reports.
“Pueblo is not a more violent community than other cities our size,” said Chief Jim Billings. “We are a safe community and the public should know that. What we are going to do is review how our statistics are being reported to the FBI. Pueblo’s number of reported assaults also seemed high. The city reported 688 aggravated assaults in 2009. Boulder, by comparison, reported only 157 while Colorado Springs, which is four times Pueblo’s size, reported only 1,084 assaults. Billings said that a review of the 2009 statistics showed the city had fewer than 200 aggravated assaults, where serious injuries occurred. Rod Slyhoff, president of the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce, said the crime study report – a Denver newspaper headlined its story with “Pueblo Tops in State Crime” – hurts the city’s image with prospective businesses and visitors.