Penn Township called one of Pennsylvania's safest towns

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Penn Township in Westmoreland County has been recognized as one of the safest community in Pennsylvania, according to SafeWise, a community-focused security organization.

SafeWise released its list of  "50 Safest Cities in Pennsylvania" last month. Penn Township came in 11th out of the 50.

SafeWise ranked cities based on the most recent FBI crime data from 2011, population, and other ranking factors such as unique safety initiatives and security programs implemented within the past few years. From the hundreds of cities chosen in Pennsylvania, SafeWise narrowed the list to 50 and assigned rankings according to how the township met the criteria.

"It’s refreshing to see so many caring communities working together to make sure their towns are safe," SafeWise security analyst Rebecca Edwards said. "Most of these Pennsylvania cities have crime rates far below the national average, which is a testament to the difference conscientious citizens can make."

SafeWise described Penn Township as a "lively community that harkens back to a simpler time with its own community band, supervised summer playground activities at area parks and the recent addition of the Penn Township Fall Festival that features a parade, petting zoo, entertainment from local musicians and fireworks."

In 2011, there were no murders, rapes or arsons reported in the township, which ranks nationally 721 out of 9,309 in communities with lowest crime rates, according to the FBI crime report.

"We're pretty proud," said Commissioner Paul Wersing. "It's definitely a credit to our police department."

Linda Metz, freelance writer:

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