4 Pennsylvania Cities Rank Among the Most Dangerous Cities in America.

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Written By Moses Bates

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A recent report highlights the alarming crime rates in four Pennsylvania cities, placing them among the most dangerous in the United States. McKees Rocks, Darby, Chester, and McKeesport have all been identified as areas of heightened risk and concern due to their high crime rates and violent incidents.

McKees Rocks

McKees Rocks, also called “The Rocks,” is a borough in Allegheny County and is considered the most dangerous place to live in Pennsylvania. With a population of 5,920, it has a crime rate of 6,409 per 100,000 people, making it 173% more dangerous than the national average. In 2022, there were 106 violent crimes and 262 property crimes, which are high numbers for such a small population.


Darby is one of the most violent cities in Pennsylvania. In 2021, there were 152 murders in a population of 10,667. Property crime is also very high, with 4,625 incidents per 100,000 people. Residents have a 1 in 22 chance of being a crime victim. Additionally, the poverty rate is high, with the average income being less than $35,000 a year.


Chester is one of the most dangerous cities in Pennsylvania. Located near Philadelphia in Delaware County, it has 32,605 residents. Chester often appears on lists of the worst cities to live in the U.S. due to its high crime rates and political corruption. The crime rate is 116% higher than the state average, with 4,389 crimes per 100,000 people. In 2021, the median home price in Chester was only $66,800.


McKeesport, a city in Allegheny County, PA, has a population of 17,727. It is considered dangerous, with a crime rate of 4,291 incidents per 100,000 people, meaning residents have a 1 in 24 chance of becoming crime victims. In 2021, there were 332 violent crimes and 542 property crimes reported. The city also faces issues with poverty and unemployment, with a median household income of only $26,271.

What Measures Are Being Taken to Improve Safety in These Cities

To improve safety in the four Pennsylvania cities of McKees Rocks, Darby, Chester, and McKeesport, several measures are being taken:

1. Real-Time Response Systems: Implementing real-time response systems that integrate multiple data streams and sources, such as computer-aided dispatch, video sensors, and record management systems, to provide public safety officials with a consolidated real-time awareness of the city. This enhances their ability to respond quickly to emergencies and reduces the impact of data silos.

2. 5G Connectivity: Ensuring reliable and widely available 5G connectivity, which is a major enabler of smart public safety technology. This includes preemption capabilities for prioritizing network and wireless resources in crisis situations, intelligent video capabilities, and AI-powered analytics.

3. Public Transport Safety: Providing high-quality public transport with safe access for commuters. This includes dedicated bus lanes, clearly marked crossings, and easy pedestrian access, as seen in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

4. Data Analysis: Using data analysis to identify key streets where safety solutions can be integrated. This involves mapping and analyzing traffic crash data to identify problem areas and implementing targeted solutions, such as rescheduling deliveries for low-cyclist hours, as seen in London.

5. Complete Streets: Ensuring main streets are safe for everyone, not just cars, by implementing “complete streets” design. This includes dedicated road space for pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport, as well as refuge islands and medians for pedestrian safety.

6. Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety: Creating dedicated spaces for pedestrians and cyclists. This includes pedestrian-only streets, street plazas, and dedicated bike lanes, which have been shown to reduce fatalities and injuries.

7. Urban Design Principles: Implementing urban design principles that prioritize safety, such as avoiding urban sprawl, slowing down road traffic, and providing a safe, connected network for cyclists. This includes designing compact cities with smaller block sizes, pedestrian-oriented streets, and dense housing.

These measures aim to enhance public safety by improving the flow and use of information, reducing the impact of data silos, and implementing targeted solutions to address specific safety issues in these cities.


The recent report highlights the pressing need for effective crime prevention strategies in these four Pennsylvania cities. With crime rates significantly higher than the national average, residents and authorities must work together to address the root causes of these issues. By implementing targeted law enforcement efforts and enhancing security measures, these cities can work towards reducing their crime rates and improving the overall safety of their residents.

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