COLUMN: GATOR CHOPPIN Is Huntington really that dangerous?

Updated 1 year ago by David Williams, HNN Freelance Correspondent
A Huntington blogger recently wrote a blog entitled Huntington, WV: One of the most dangerous cities in the nation?  He presented stats from that lists Huntington as a 3 out of 100 in safety index with 3 obviously being one of the lowest possible scores.

Okay, I know this is per capita....per capita is one of those fancy little statistic terms that allows you to spin numbers almost any way you want.....BUT this article is almost entirely out of is almost spun to give Huntington a blackeye...maybe not intentionally Huntington, but certainly the current administration.


Huntington is listed as 78.  This does not make it one of the MOST fact....Charleston, WV is 39.  These are 2018 numbers when Huntington was mired in a turf war and there was a temporary spike in drug-related murders.  The main thing about this is it was not random crime.  Basically, the only way you were going to be murdered was if you were dealing in illegal drug trade.


Huntington was also listed as most dangerous than 80 Atlanta?  Again, out of context because the per capita throws it out of whack.  There are many safe parts of Atlanta that makes up overall for the bad part....but if anyone thinks for a moment that there are not bad parts of Atlanta that makes the worse of Huntington seem like an amusement park...then they do not get out enough.


My family is from East St.  Louis....I have been through there many times.  There are complete neighborhoods of burned out buildings.  There are gangs roaming the streets.  My friend Steve and I drove my convertible through blocks and blocks of hostile neighborhoods of Detroit before we wisely pulled over and put my top up.  I have seen neighborhoods in Cincinnati, New York, and Indianapolis that I would not walk down the street by myself at night to win a bet.


AJ Dawg and I routinely roam the streets of Downtown Huntington at all hours without incident.  I lived on Marshall Avenue and my car was broke down and I walked through the Fairfield District and Hal Greer at all different hours without incident.


In fact, walk through McDaniel Street or Mary Street in Atlanta, West Center City in Wilmington, Delaware, or North Monroe Street in Baltimore and then down Hal Greer or Madison in Huntington...and then tell me how dangerous Huntington is. 


The thing is though....the perception that Huntington is one of the most dangerous cities in America will keep people from moving here or tourists from coming or even shoppers from Ohio or Kentucky from coming.  The fact is there is very little random crime in Huntington.  Crime is up because people leave their car doors unlocked.  There is an increase in crime but we were ground zero of the drug epidemic....with the key word being WERE.


Huntington went through some bad times....we learned some hard lessons.  There is recovery in Huntington.  You are very unlikely to get robbed at The Huntington Mall or stabbed at Pullman Square as opposed to shopping in many cities.  Many towns our size or smaller such as Cumberland, Md or Chillicothe, Ohio are suffering an increase in crime due to the drug epidemic. 


Come on, people....YES....we must continue to spread recovery across Huntington and make our city safer.  NO....Huntington is not as dangerous as cities where gangs rule the street and to continue the charade that our city is as dangerous as Chicago or St. Louis is a serious misjustice to the good citizens of our community and quite probably an intended political hit job as well as a ludicrous exaggeration.


Here are some pictures I found of East St.  Louis.  I have been there many times but do not have the courage to hold a camera up.  By the way, rates East St. Louis, the murder capital of the US by capita as a 5....which makes it safer than Huntington!


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