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Northwest students talk with University Police Sgt. Anthony Williams last year during a social event that enabled students to engage in conversation with police officers and learn about the services and resources they provide. (Photo by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

Northwest students talk with University Police Sgt. Anthony Williams last year during a social event that enabled students to engage in conversation with police officers and learn about the services and resources they provide. (Photo by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

Aug. 30, 2017

Maryville named one of ’Safest College Towns in America’ for third year

Maryville, the home to Northwest Missouri State University, is one of the “Safest College Towns in America” for the third consecutive year, according to a recent report released by SafeWise, an online resource for home security and safety information.

Maryville rose to No. 22 on this year’s list, up from 28 last year and 32 before that. Also for the third consecutive year, it is the only Missouri college town to appear on the list.

In highlighting Maryville, Safewise praises the city for its innovative approach toward keeping crime rates low, noting the city reported fewer than 30 violent crimes in 2015.

“This college town understands the importance of providing a secure environment where students and their families feel safe,” Safewise reports. “Maryville employs a public safety department that combines law enforcement and firefighting personnel. Officers are cross-trained so they can respond to a variety of different needs in the community.”

Maryville City Manager Greg McDanel said the safety ranking is a testament of the collaborative efforts of Maryville Public Safety and Northwest’s University Police Department as well as the Nodaway County Sheriff’s Office and support services such as the Children and Family Center of Northwest Missouri, Nodaway County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and Maryville Partners in Prevention.

“The ranking provides recognition that the city of Maryville and Northwest Missouri State University are collaborating on unprecedented levels to ensure a safe and vibrant community for all residents,” McDanel said. “Rankings such as this elevate the community on a national level, increasing awareness and assisting with tourism and economic development. The statistics and quality of life indicators continue to propel Maryville as one of the most dynamic and livable communities in the region.”

The city’s collaboration with the University includes steady communication and intentional partnering on crime prevention and preparation efforts. Last spring, law enforcement agencies from throughout the region participated in a full-scale, multi-jurisdictional response exercise that simulated an armed intruder on the Northwest campus and tested the agencies’ abilities to coordinate response efforts. Maryville and Northwest also have collaborated to improve the quality of housing in neighborhoods surrounding the campus, create a safe and enjoyable tailgating environment for fans attending Bearcat athletics contests, and enhance Greek life at the University.

Additionally, University Police’s Safe Ride Home program, launched in 2004 as a student initiative, has reduced violations for driving while intoxicated by more than 60 percent while providing transportation to more than 20,000 students annually. University Police also offers numerous awareness programs to educate students about relationship violence, sexual assault, crime prevention and emergency preparedness.

University Police reports that more than 90 percent of students with whom officers interact in a judicial manner rate their experience as a quality one, illustrating efforts by the city and Northwest to use community policing practices that are focused on crime prevention. 

“We are striving to be a model city that faces its challenges,” University Police Chief Clarence Green said. “With policing being at the forefront of many conversations today, we are proud of those who serve with distinction and practice the tenants of being a guardian to those they serve.”

SafeWise combined data from recent FBI statistics and identified safety-related programs and initiatives in college cities across the country to compose its list. Click here to view the entire list.

About Northwest Missouri State University

Northwest is a coeducational, primarily residential four-year university that offers a broad range of undergraduate and selected graduate programs on its Maryville campus as well as its Northwest-Kansas City location at the Northland Innovation Center and through Northwest Online.

Founded in 1905, Northwest was ranked in 2015 and 2016 by U.S. News and World Report as the top moderately selective regional university in Missouri, and it has met all measures of the state’s performance-based funding initiative during four of the model’s first five years. has named the Northwest campus one of the “50 Most Amazing University Botanical Gardens and Arboretums in the U.S<.”

The University boasts a 59 percent graduation rate, which is in the 89th percentile of Northwest's national peer group. In addition, 96 percent of Northwest bachelor’s degree earners and 97 percent of master’s degree earners secure employment or continue their education within six months of graduation, according to the most recent data. Zippia, a career website, recently named Northwest the best college in Missouri for getting a job.

Northwest places a high emphasis on profession-based learning to help graduates get a jumpstart on their careers. Students have opportunities to build their resumes with experiences on campus in nearly every area of study, including the Horace Mann Laboratory SchoolNational Public Radio affiliate KXCV, the R.T. Wright Farm, Mozingo Outdoor Education Recreation Area or Knacktive, a student-driven integrated digital marketing communications agency.

Furthermore, its vibrant and diverse learning community offers more than 150 student organizations, and textbooks and a laptop are included in tuition, which is among the lowest in the state, saving students an estimated $7,300 over four years. Northwest also offers 1,200 student employment positions, allowing students to build professional skills through its internationally benchmarked student employment program. 

For more information about Northwest and its performance, visit

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468