Huntington police officials reported last week that crime — both violent and property offenses — in the city was generally down in 2019 when compared with 2018 and the few years before that.

The Herald-Dispatch asked its readers whether they felt safer in Huntington, in light of the new data. As of Tuesday afternoon, by a nearly 3-to-1 margin, online respondents to the question said they didn’t feel safer.

Here is a sampling of online responses:

Joan Hall St Clair: “I’ve never felt unsafe ... And I’ve lived and worked and exercised and shopped in lots of different areas of Huntington.”

Stacey Leep: “... it’s all about where you live. When my family lived on 9th Ave and 23rd Street, I was laying on the couch recovering from surgery and bullets flew threw my window directly over my head and body. I lived next door to a drug dealer. It was a home we inherited and thought we could stand to live in to save some money for a while. After that, we moved to Ona.”

David Smith: “I feel as safe in #HuntingtonWV as any city across the USA. So many seem to think the ills that our great city has are only here, but they are all over the USA today. God Bless Mayor Steve Williams & all those making things better in Huntington. We are moving towards a better future and with their help, guidance, and faith in God, along with each of us doing our part to help, #WeCan!”

Gregory Jimison: “Said this before and I’ll say it again, I’ve never felt unsafe in H’town. I’ve lived a lot of places, bad things happen sometimes but they happen everywhere. I think some people need to learn perspective. It would be nice if we had 0 crime but that’s unrealistic. The crime we have in comparison to our population and daily visitors is very small. Keep it up Huntington.”

Kade Huff: “With the mass shooting on New Year’s Eve and several armed robberies a week, I don’t feel safe at all. I don’t think it’s dropped; I think it has increased!”

Bonnie Hardwick-Oliver: “Look to recorded shootings and stabbings on downtown 4th Ave alone, over the past year. Seven shot on New Year’s Eve, not to mention a shooting death at Hot Corner, in addition to a previous shooting at the same location. And there have been other assaults with weapons. The breaking and enterings, thievery, vandalism, drug dealing, etc, etc. I live downtown and have a good memory. My neighbor will not walk her dog after dark, unless an armed neighbor accompanies her. Feel safe? No, but the time is here for election propaganda.”

Cara Bailey: “This is a disappointing question. I answered yes, but I’ve also never felt unsafe in Huntington.”

Olive Dugan: “I’ve always felt safe in Huntington.”

Philip Smith: “My family moved (back) here in 2017 thinking we were headed into a war zone from the feed of negativity on Facebook. Couldn’t have been more wrong. We feel completely safe and at peace here. Thankful for the tremendous job that is being done within the city offices (mayor, police, fire, etc.) to make Huntington a great place to live and raise a family.”

Joab Dellinger: “Lived here since I was a freshman at MU in 1998. I’ve never felt unsafe in Huntington. Love it here.”

Nick Baird: “No, because someone drove a car through a pizza shop literally only a week ago and 7 people got shot up in the club almost not even a month ago! Crime may be down but crazy is not gone!! Are we supposed to feel safe cuz I can’t let my kids play outside by themselves!”

Larry Kendall: “Never felt unsafe. Lived here since 1972.”

Brandon Davis: “It’s because less people are on streets cause everyone now knows not to walk in Huntington after dark! That’s why it’s dropped.”

Josh Hauser: “I feel less safe, but I have also witnessed more incidents recently than I did in the past. I am also more aware of things that are happening than I was in the past.”

Judy Wade: “I am so proud of our city for all it is doing.”

Joe Risch: “I never feel unsafe.”

Jared Baker: “Not really, I still lock my doors three or four times when I get out of my car, I twist the door knob of my apartment about three good times to make sure it’s locked, and I’m constantly checking for my packages because I’ve had them be stolen right off of the porch. So no, I don’t feel any safer, but I am happy there is a drop in violence.”

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