A Safe LIFE

Across a wide variety of indicators, safety in Brown County has generally improved since the release of the 2011 LIFE Study. The public safety landscape in the area also has changed with the development of new policies, programs, and initiatives that address drunk driving, drug use, and alternative courts, among others.

In 2016, 89% of community survey respondents rated the quality of law enforcement agencies in their communities as excellent or good. In contrast, 10% rated the agencies as fair or poor. In 2011, 86% of respondents rated the quality of law enforcement agencies in their communities as excellent or good. In that year, just 13% of community survey respondents rated agencies as fair or poor. These trends are displayed in Figure 1.

Another positive development has been a decrease in alcohol related crashes in Brown County. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation defines an alcohol-related crash as when “either a driver, bicyclist, or pedestrian is listed on a police report or coroner report as drinking alcohol before the crash.”

The number of alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes declined from 2008 to 2013. Over the six year period, alcohol-related crashes decreased by more than 40% from a high of 325 in 2008 to 184 in 2013. Although the decrease was relatively consistent, the largest reduction was recorded between 2010 and 2011.

As Figure 3 indicates, there have been positive developments for all of the leading indicators in this area. Overall, crime statistics and community survey data largely support the opinions of area public safety experts—Brown County remains a relatively safe community.

Based on available data, the trends associated with many indicators of public safety also appear to be moving in the right direction. At the same time, residents are generally pleased with the public safety services they receive.