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Thumbs up...to Berea and Richmond ranking high in the safest cities in Kentucky. The National Council for Home Safety and Security (NCHSS) released a report detailing the safest cities in Kentucky that ranked the city of Berea as the 11th safest and Richmond the 30th safest city. In order to identify the safest cities, NCHSS analyzed the data from the 2017 FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics, which was collected from 7,639 cities and 8,793 law enforcement agencies. NCHSS eliminated cities that failed to submit a crime report to the FBI and also eliminated cities with populations under 10,000. Police adequacy was also factored in as a variable in determining a city's score. This measures how many crimes there are in a city and how many officers there are to tend to the crimes. NCHSS finally combines the scores to determine the safety score of each city. As we all know, we're very fortunate to have great police agencies, such as the BPD and RPD, to protect. Each goes above and beyond in what they do, and these rankings are a testament to that work.

Thumbs up...to the Madison County Health Department partnering with the Kentucky Medical Association that will combine the efforts of both organizations in order to undertake the state's five key health issues. Both entities will focus on combating issues of smoking, diabetes, drug abuse, obesity and flu/pneumonia, all issues in which Kentucky falls behind nationally. The initiative is a part of KMA's Aim for Better Care: Administrative Improvements Initiative, which tackles administrative burdens, laws and regulations impacting the health of Kentuckians. The partnership could be a blueprint for others in Kentucky. "We're pulling our resources together to make a difference, and we're really excited with this partnership and to work with the whole team," said Emily Schott, the KMA director of communications. It's great to see this partnership happen as it will allow both to pull resources together to make a bigger impact. That's a win for all of us.

Thumbs up...to a report showing Kentucky highway fatalities declined in 2018. Preliminary figures indicate highway fatalities declined for a second straight year, according to the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS). Fatalities totaled 722 in 2018, down from 782 in 2017 and 834 in 2016. It's the lowest number since 2014's 672 deaths. Despite the decline, Kentucky State Trooper Robert Purdy said law enforcement is still working multiple collisions that often turn into injury collisions. "We encourage drivers to pay attention to the road, wear their seatbelt and limit distractions," he said. While we have to be aware of others on the road, we also have to be aware of how we drive. Purdy added safe driving is simple and up to each person that gets behind a wheel. And that's true. So next time you get behind the wheel, be smart, follow the law and get to your destination safely.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Agree or disagree with the above or one of our columnists? Then send us a Letter to the Editor. Email editor@richmondregister. com and include your name, town and phone number. Must be 300 words or less. Your phone number will only be used to verify the letter.

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