El Paso, a city between the U.S.A. and Mexico, is known for its rich cultural tapestry and stunning desert landscapes, attracting visitors globally. However, it also often pops up in safety discussions.
From the bustling sidewalks of Downtown to the serene trails of Franklin Mountains State Park, El Paso offers a lot to explore. Whether you’re planning a trip, considering a move, or just curious about this sunny slice of Texas, here’s all the information to answer the question, ‘Is El Paso safe?’
Safety Statistics and Rankings
Every city has stories and rumors about safety; El Paso is no exception. The city has been recognized for lower crime rates, especially when compared to other cities of similar size.
According to recent FBI crime statistics, El Paso often ranks among the safer large cities. The violent crime rate is approximately 3.3% and includes crimes such as homicides, robberies, and aggravated assaults. Moreover, the city’s violent crime rate in 2019 was 7.05% below the national average.
Although crime rates do fluctuate over time, El Paso has consistently maintained a comparatively low rate of violent crimes when compared to several other U.S. cities.
Regarding the property crime rate, the city’s commendable efforts in addressing property-related offenses have led to decreasing rates. The current property crime rate stands at around 2.5%.
Here are two critical points that promote El Paso as a safe place:
- For every 219 citizens, there is one law enforcement officer in the city. This number exceeds twice the state ratio of Texas and surpasses that of any other city in the U.S.A.
- According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, El Paso ranks among America’s top five safest cities with over 500,000.
Local Law Enforcement and Community Efforts
Safety isn’t all about the numbers; it’s also about the people who work tirelessly to keep a city safe.
El Paso’s law enforcement units, including the El Paso Police Department and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, are known for their community-driven approach.
The visible presence of the police in the city helps maintain law and order by actively patrolling areas frequented by tourists. That’s not all; to guarantee the security of visitors, major attractions like entertainment venues, museums, and parks have additional security measures in place.
With its border location, El Paso also has notable security measures in place at the points of border crossing. The United States CBP (Customs and Border Protection) is committed to facilitating a seamless tourist travel experience while rigorously maintaining border security and safety.
Nighttime Safety in El Paso
When the sun sets over the beautiful El Paso skyline, the city takes on a different kind of charm. Whether you’re out on a peaceful evening stroll, a late dinner, or enjoying some nightlife, staying safe and alert at night is essential.
While El Paso, with a comparatively lower crime rate than several other U.S. cities, is generally considered safe at night, here are some tips to help ensure nighttime safety:
- Stay in Well-Lit Areas: Stick to well-populated and well-lit public areas when walking around, especially at night. Avoid dimly lit streets or secluded locations.
- Keep an Eye on Your Drink: Watch your drink at all times. Accept drinks only from the bartender or server; never leave your drink unattended.
- Travel in Groups: There’s truth to the saying, ‘safety in numbers.’ When you go out with friends or family, it makes for a great night and also adds an extra layer of security.
- Use Trusted Transportation: Taking a cab, rideshare, or public transport? Make sure it’s from a reliable and reputable service. Don’t forget to share your ride details with someone you trust.
Areas to Explore
While El Paso is considered a relatively secure city, crime rates may vary within the city. Some neighborhoods are popular for their lower crime rates and safety.
Let’s look into some of El Paso’s safest neighborhoods.
- Eastwood: A residential neighborhood, Eastwood has a well-established community and well-kept homes.
- Upper Valley: With a tight-knit community and lower crime rates, the Upper Valley Neighborhood offers a secure living environment.
- Tierra del Este: A relatively new residential area, it has good infrastructure, modern homes, and a low crime rate.
- West Hills: Beautiful homes and well-lit streets in a tranquil suburban atmosphere make West Hills a secure, family-friendly environment.
- Eastlake: This area, situated on the outskirts, has a serene environment, a suburban feel, and reduced crime rates– a safe residential choice.
- Cielo Vista: A well-established neighborhood, Cielo Vista boasts a friendly and safe community characterized by minimal crime levels and a suburban ambiance.
- Coronado Hills: This peaceful neighborhood features expansive residences and a close community, contributing to a secure and appealing living environment.
- Mission Hills: This highly regarded neighborhood has lower crime rates, upscale homes, and gated communities, making a safe living environment.
Areas to Avoid
Despite being considered a generally safe city, some neighborhoods in El Paso experience elevated crime rates than others, like any urban area.
Here’s a list of such neighborhoods identified as increasingly risky:
- Five Points: The Five Points neighborhood experiences increased criminal activity rates, primarily related to property crimes. You must keep two things in mind in these areas: being mindful of personal belongings and securing vehicles when parking in the area.
- Segundo Barrio: Situated close to the U.S.-Mexico border, this place has had comparatively higher rates of crime compared to other neighborhoods in El Paso. Visitors and residents are advised to exercise caution, particularly after dark, to steer clear of potential hazards in this region.
- Downtown El Paso: Downtown areas tend to attract people, especially tourists, in great numbers. However, the one in El Paso has witnessed sporadic instances of property crimes.
- Union Plaza: Property crimes and occasional violent incidents contribute to the elevated crime rates in Union Plaza. Try to avoid secluded or poorly lit areas.
- Chamizal: This neighborhood has experienced high crime rates in the past. It would be wise to exercise extra caution when passing through this area, especially after dark.
Whether you’re exploring the scenic Franklin Mountains State Park or strolling through the historic San Jacinta Plaza, there are some tips you might want to remember to stay safe.
- Keep Your Valuables Secure: It’s advisable to keep your valuables secure, as you would at any travel destination. Consider storing them securely when not in use or utilizing hotel safes.
- Avoid Public Displays: To minimize the chances of becoming a target for theft, refrain from displaying valuable items like substantial sums of cash or expensive jewelry while wandering around the city.
- Stay Alert: Being aware and alert of your vicinity will help you notice any suspicious activities or potential dangers in your surroundings.
- Exercise Caution with Strangers: It’s crucial to be cautious while engaging with unfamiliar people. Don’t accept offers or deals from strangers, and refrain from accompanying someone who offers to guide you around the city.
- Stay Informed About the Weather: El Paso’s weather can be quite the chameleon – sunny one minute and stormy the next, especially during the monsoon season. Always check the weather forecast before planning outdoor activities.
- Keep Emergency Numbers Handy: Have the local emergency numbers handy. It’s also wise to know the locations of the closest police stations, medical facilities, and hospitals.
So, is El Paso safe? Based on the statistics and community efforts, the answer is a reassuring ‘yes.’ It’s clear that this vibrant city offers not just stunning desert landscapes and rich cultural experiences but also a reassuring sense of security.
However, remember that just like any city, El Paso too has areas that require a bit of extra caution. Don’t let that deter you from experiencing all that the city offers. Despite the challenges, El Paso’s commitment to safety and community is evident.
Whether you’re a visitor discovering its wonders or a resident cherishing its daily life, you can experience a community that values safety and embraces diversity by keeping a few practical safety tips in mind.
So come, experience El Paso for yourself, and be a part of its safe, vibrant tapestry!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why is El Paso Famous?
El Paso is famous for tons of things, such as centuries-old Spanish missions, theaters, operas, art museums, and symphony orchestras. Equally outstanding is the Mexican and international cuisine available in El Paso. Not to forget mariachi bands, rodeos, and western and country dancing.
Is El Paso a Safe Place to Live?
Yes. The lower crime rates in El Paso, compared to several other Texan cities, make it a relatively safe place to live.
Is El Paso Safer Than San Antonio?
Considering the crime rates, El Paso is considered safer than San Antonio. This is justified since San Antonio has a crime index above the national average and El Paso.