Home > Uncategorized > Eureka ranks #71 for high crime

Eureka ranks #71 for high crime

crime-in-eurekaA recently released study may confirm Eureka Police Capt. Murl Harpham’s unpopular comment that Eureka is a “hellhole.”

Eureka is the 71st most dangerous city in the US, according to Neighborhood Scout.

“With a population of 25,929, Eureka has a combined rate of violent and property crime that is very high compared to other places of similar population size,” according to the report.  “Few other communities of this size have a crime rate as high as Eureka.”

Eurekans have a 1 in 156 chance of becoming a crime victim, according to the data.

Berkeley, CA also made the list, coming in at #43.  But a blog on the San Francisco Chronicle website advises readers to view the results with “liberal pinches of salt.”

Reports of high crime are not new to Eureka.  The Humboldt Herald previously compared crime rates in the Humboldt County seat to other cities and found Eureka always comes out ahead.  That’s not a good thing.

When the City Council meets tonight to discuss the budget, they should remember that public safety is a high priority in Eureka and requires full funding.  It’s hard to enjoy a visit to the zoo if you have to dodge bands of thieves and rampaging tweekers just to get there.

  1. Anonymous
    July 7, 2009 at 5:20 am

    It’s hard to enjoy a visit to the zoo if the zoo has been closed by the city council.

    It’s an interesting approach to public safety — keep people in their homes.

  2. Balanced community
    July 7, 2009 at 5:32 am

    You forgot to mention that the Neighborhood Scout identified the #1 safest California city as Death Valley, nice place to visit but a little warm in the summer.

  3. High Finance
    July 7, 2009 at 6:08 am

    As has been stated many times, the numbers are deceiving.

    Officially Eureka only has 25,929. However the population almost doubles, closer to 50,000, when you add in the immediate bedroom communities of Myrtletown, Cutten, Pine Hill & Humboldt Hill/King Salmon/Fields Landing.

    When you use that population to calculate the crime rates, you’ll find that Eureka is much safer than most cities.

  4. Anonymous
    July 7, 2009 at 7:26 am

    that’s ridiculous–if you added the population of the outlying bedroom communities for Eureka, you’d have to do it for all the other cities you are comparing Eureka to, and the stats would likely remain pretty similar (I’m guessing most small cities have outlying unincorporated communities that don’t have much different crime rates that Cutten and Myrtletown).

    Eureka also ranks very high in vehicle-related deaths fro pedestrians.

  5. High Finance
    July 7, 2009 at 7:29 am

    No, 7.26, the difference is the proportion of Eureka’s immediate vicinity population compared to the city limits.

    It doubles our population. That is unusual.

  6. Anonymous
    July 7, 2009 at 7:31 am

    I agree High Finance. Once you consider that the population doubles, it’s like these people are only half dying.

  7. humboldturtle
    July 7, 2009 at 7:39 am

    Close the zoo, keep the property, and open it up when times get better. Duh.

  8. nimby
    July 7, 2009 at 7:44 am

    Stange, I take my kids to the zoo very frequently and have never encounetered the hassles you mention. However, the Arcata plaza sounds more like the place you speak of.

  9. 06em
    July 7, 2009 at 7:47 am

    People of Eureka! Do not go out for brunch at Cafe Marina! It is the 71st most dangerous brunch in the entire United States!

    Also: if Nancy Fleming is still living on Indian Island and you have her phone number, please call her to tell her to move right away! Her house is in the most dangerous neighborhood in the 71st most dangerous city in the US! Hopefully she hasn’t already been murdered or had her car stereo jacked out there.

  10. Anonymous
    July 7, 2009 at 7:57 am

    How does Eureka rank for civilian deaths at the hands of police? For statisticians per 1,000 population?

    Has anyone done any studies to see how criminal attitudes correlate with any of the following: murdering native population; attacking Chinese population; destroying forests; pepper-spraying environmentalists; ignoring the poor; honoring the rich?

  11. July 7, 2009 at 8:17 am

    Interesting post Heraldo…
    I suspect a lot of the crime in Eureka is a result of paroled prisoners (from Pelican Bay). They usually take a bus when they’re released, and some end up in Eureka. I could be wrong about this.
    In addition, if you look at who commits the majority of crimes, you’ll find they generally have a recent history of run-ins with the law.
    That indicates to me that we’re doing something wrong in the justice system. Repeat offenders are too common.
    I question weather or not the survey is really comparing “apples to apples” when it determined that Eureka is #71 in the country countdown on crime.

    July 7, 2009 at 8:43 am

    The Great Divide that separates poverty from wealth – anyone else have anything to add?

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  13. July 7, 2009 at 9:12 am

    It starts with government schools churning out hoodlums that can’t read AND learn to steal from that very same school district.
    Every ill society has can be traced back to the root of all evil- government.

  14. July 7, 2009 at 9:23 am

    Cross commenting (just posted this on Samoasoftball), but since it’s a similar subject, Radley Balko over at Reason magazine takes a look at one of America’s safest cities that’s full of immigrants- legal and illegal: El Paso, Texas.

  15. A Non A Me
    July 7, 2009 at 9:25 am

    It is clear that Eureka is suffering from problems associated with urban life when combined with a weak economy. This should be considered when Wealthy Humboldt wants to increase the density of our towns and also supports policies which would impede economic development. All things to consider when we rush to Option Azerize Humboldt County.

  16. Anonymous
    July 7, 2009 at 9:49 am

    Close the zoo, keep the property, and open it up when times get better. Duh.

    Duh is correct. The start-up costs for a zoo are astronomical bordering on completely cost prohibitive. If you close the zoo, it will never reopen. Anyone who says otherwise is either misinformed or trying to deceive you.

  17. eco-doomist
    July 7, 2009 at 9:55 am

    Don’t you really mean real estate development? The poor economy is why there is a slump in real estate development and blaming high crime rates on out-of-work construction workers is lame.

  18. Anonymous
    July 7, 2009 at 10:12 am

    Public Safety is more important than the zoo, which costs $600,000 per year. How much crime could be prevented with Six Hundred Grand per year? It’s about priorities. Mothball the zoo. Hire some decent cops.

  19. Earnest Dodge
    July 7, 2009 at 10:33 am

    I suspect all that crime is from the permanently bad attitudes of the residents of Humboldt County, if the commenters of this blog are representative at all.

  20. Anonymous
    July 7, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Don’t you know, its all Arcata’s fault.

  21. Anonymous
    July 7, 2009 at 11:07 am

    Public Safety is more important than the zoo, which costs $600,000 per year. How much crime could be prevented with Six Hundred Grand per year?

    That’s a false choice. You are linking unrelated items. If you want to play that game, and it is a game, we can link all sorts of city-funded services that one group or another doesn’t feel is important, yet costs lots of money.

    So, you’ve chosen to pit everyone against families by linking police with the zoo. Nice. Real nice.

  22. blahblahblah
    July 7, 2009 at 11:09 am

    Utter bollocks.

    Eureka was much more dangerous in the 80’s than it is now and I would wager that property crimes were worse in the 90’s than they are now.

    The changes at the EPD will make a huge difference. Anyone in Eureka knows that reporting a crime there is pointless half the time because the Police will be buddies/relatives with the perps.

  23. Anonymous
    July 7, 2009 at 11:31 am

    1107, it’s about priorities. The linkage is already there because it’s all the same money. Nobody is pitting anyone against families; we believe in protecting our kids from criminals. None of it’s nice, and no one wants to close the zoo, but if we can’t afford it we may have to “do without”. Let’s be real.

  24. Anonymous
    July 7, 2009 at 11:34 am

    blahblahblah – you are exactly that. You are nuts if you think that a change in EPD will solve anything regarding the incidence of crime here.

    And to think, only one other California city made it above Eureka.

    Sad, but not suprising. Many of you people here could effect some change in our community, but you are too obsessed with bashing and trashing anyone who doesn’t agree 100% with your agendas. It really is sad.

  25. July 7, 2009 at 11:55 am

    we could do without desk jockeys who feed themselves like redcoats with tax dollars ( have they no shame? ) abolish the city government and let’s hire a private secirity firm to handle the crime- you could atleast make them work for their contract. The fire dept should be volunteer or homeowners could pay for protection in the manner fire departments were founded on.

    forced taxation to feed government is nothing but slavery

  26. Anonymous
    July 7, 2009 at 11:58 am

    This is a very weak analysis -Apparently you are safer in west Oakland than Mt Vernon Washington, Casa Grande Arizona, or Hot Springs Arkansas. These are sleepy little cities that may have pockets of illegal activity, but are for the most part are safe and friendly (I’ve spent time in all three). Most of Eureka’s violent crime happens between individuals involved in buying, selling, or stealing drugs. This sensationalist crap makes it appear that you’d be taking your life in your hands to stroll down to Henderson Center and buy a cup of coffee. It would be interesting to separate out the crime rate for people who store, sell, or buy drugs (or grow pot). Yes, those folks are vulnerable to violent crime whether they live in Eureka, Oakland, or Lundbar Hills.

  27. July 7, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    I agree Black Flag.

    Feed the population meth and you have an extermination program for those who don’t fit the program. Hire some trigger happy cops to pick off those who can’t conform. Blame unemployment and housing shortages on the misfortunate.

    F@ck the EPD!

    We need to take back the streets. For the people, not the cops or corrupt politicians/corporations.

  28. Anonymous
    July 7, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Jeff Muskrat

    Thanks for your words of wisdom. Eureka could use more citizens like you. As much as an outbreak of the black plauge.

  29. Plain Jane
    July 7, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Hell Black Flag, if we don’t need professional fire departments, why pay for a private security firm? We could just get up a good old fashioned vigilante mob to round up all the usual suspects and odd strangers and march them to the end of a pier. No need to waste any tax money on police, courts, or trials. I’ll bet we could save lots of money by closing schools too. Who needs roads, clean air, water or food, labor laws, consumer protection, civil rights, national security, professional licenses, social services, etc? Give me freedom from taxation slavery or give me death! (rolls eyes)

  30. Anonymous
    July 7, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    You could always handle the fire department like ‘Merica handles health insurance…

    9-1-1, what is your name and policy number?

    What do you mean, “policy number”

    Your fire insurance policy, sir.

    I don’t have fire insurance, what are you talking about?

    Oh, I’m sorry sir, are you over 65 or do you have Fire-Aid?


    I’m sorry sir, but I’m going to transfer you to the Red Cross; they should be able to help you find temporary housing if your house is gone.

    But the fire is spreading! It’s going to take down the houses on either side of mine!!

    Oh dear. Do you know their policy numbers, sir?

    Um, no.

    Thank you for calling 9-1-1. Would you mind participating in a short service survey?

    Wha Hi, I’m R-A-C-H-E-L, your Responsive Automated Comprehensive High Efficiency Line assistant. If you speak English, please press 1 or say “Yes”


    Great! You speak…. English. Would you like to buy fire insurance to protect your house and belongings? If you’d like to buy fire insurance, press “1” or say “Yes.” If not, please press “2” or say, “No thanks”. If you’re not sure, please press “3” or say “Maybe”


    Great! You… MAY… want fire insurance. Fire Insurance from Black Flag Eureka can help protect your home and belongings in the event of an unanticipated inflammation of your home. Fire Insurance from Black Flag Eureka will reimburse… Eighty…. five…. percent…. of your losses in the event of an inflammation. Buy the optional smoke damage rider and we will include laundry for up to forty articles of clothing.

  31. Not A Native
    July 7, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    I also disagree with the characterization of Eureka as high crime. In my experience the whole of Eureka is similarto a “bad neighborhood” in a big city where crime rates are much higher than in “good neighborhoods”. That is what the statistic has measured. But even bad neighborhoods have streets that are quiet and the same applies to Eureka.

    So far, there is little random violent crime in Eureka like muggings, armed robbery, carjacking. But the risk is increasing of being in the “crossfire” of a drug deal or theft.

    Police enforcement can prevent those crimes because they are typically perpetrated by opportunistic people who believe they won’t be caught. A police presence is one way to increase the perception that criminals will be caught. Another is an empowered citizenry that respects authority and reports deviant activities that are a prelude to more serious crime.

  32. ThinkingOutLoud2
    July 7, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    2:54 You are lucky. My house and business were both burning. I could not call 911. The ROBOCALLS monopolized my answering machine until everything was burned to the ground. Sadly I did not end up needing that warranty on my old vehicles that burned up in my garage or tickets to a charity concert for public safety organizations that never showed up.

    Great post 2:54.

  33. Time to get real
    July 7, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    I don’t live in the out skirts but in town and have had many problems over the years, windows broken out of my car, mid level meth dealers across the street, garage broken into, my truck stolen, and that is but a few of the on going problems. I live in a better part of town and own my home. EPD has it’s hands full every day and all some of you can think of is saving the zoo. I don’t get it. Most of the people who live in Eureka are good folks with jobs and families, so tell them to cut the EPD even more then it is currently. We have a neighborhood watch that is active and it helps, but we can do little but watch and report. The church in my block has had five acts of vandalism in four months. What do we tell them? Some of you need a reality check.

  34. Anonymous
    July 8, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Time to get Real: There are too many haters on this blog. It is easier for them to ignore the statistics that to admit that they are wrong about things.

  35. Mr. Nice
    July 8, 2009 at 10:34 am

    These crime stats which rank whole cities are bogus. These same stats put Oakland, CA and Richmond, CA in the top ten most dangerous cities in the United States. This would make it seem like only street thugs come out of the East Bay.

    These crime statistics are obviously biased as you are just as likely to get jacked in The City as The Town yet the numbers for Frisco make it look like the safest fucking place on the planet. Good luck leaving your keys in the ignition in SF or walking around dressing too flossy at night.

    Eureka seems perfectly safe to me in comparison. It is easy to kick the ass of some old man wrinkly faced loudmouth tweaker compared to some leak smoking mental case like one finds in the city. It is one thing when some tweaker steals your car and parks it three blocks away with the spark plugs taken out and another when some thugs steal your car and take it to a chop shop in Vallejo never to be seen again.

    I’ve never walked around Eureka on a Friday night and seen someone screaming outside the club that some crackhead smashed a 40 bottle over their head. This type of thing happens all the time in supposedly safe places like SF. The stats are just lower in these places because there are more people crammed into apartments who never go outside and therefore never are victims of anything (or don’t report it).

    If anything, the biggest thugs in Eureka were the EPD. They were the ones shooting people and cracking skulls last year. It is good to hear that this new chief is running a more efficient department and hopefully we will see these bogus crime stats drop by next year as well as less bodies on the hands of our peace officers.

  36. Balanced Community
    July 8, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Time to get real Says:
    July 7, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    “Most of the people who live in Eureka are good folks with jobs and families, so tell them to cut the EPD even more then it is currently. We have a neighborhood watch that is active and it helps, but we can do little but watch and report. The church in my block has had five acts of vandalism in four months. What do we tell them? Some of you need a reality check.”

    Currently Public Safety takes 58% of the general fund budget, public works (streets, alleys, sidewalks, parks, landscaped areas and zoo) gets 15%. The zoo is getting by with 2% of the budget. I think a reality check is in order, shouldn’t there be more balance in the community?

  37. Anonymous
    July 8, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    High Finance Says:

    July 7, 2009 at 6:08 am
    As has been stated many times, the numbers are deceiving.

    Officially Eureka only has 25,929. However the population almost doubles, closer to 50,000, when you add in the immediate bedroom communities of Myrtletown, Cutten, Pine Hill & Humboldt Hill/King Salmon/Fields Landing.

    When you use that population to calculate the crime rates, you’ll find that Eureka is much safer than most cities.

    I must say, High Finance, that is the single most useful comment of yours that I have ever read. Thanks!

  38. Anonymous
    July 8, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Right about now, Plain Jane, I could just kiss you!

  39. Anonymous
    July 8, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Wait! Wouldn’t crime just outside Eureka show up in the stats for Humboldt County? How does that lower the crime rate in Eureka? High Finance? Please explain.

  40. Anonymous
    July 8, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    8:52 has a good point. What HF says only makes sense if there is absolutely no crime in Cutten, Myrtletown, etc.

  41. Time to get real
    July 9, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Mr. Nice is really not, nor is he able to see the forest for the trees, or should I say criminals. All of us who live and work here have had plenty of experiences with the bad guys. Still we live here because we like most of what Humboldt has to offer, excluding its not so pretty underbelly. We are all hoping that EPD will, given the resources and time, win the day with the thugs, petty thieves, druggies, etc.

    It is just sad that city hall can’t seem to muster the will and resources to really tackle the problem. Right now we have a city manager that would rather hassle the new chief than help him find solutions. That just doen’t make sense to me.

  42. Reinventing the Wheel
    July 9, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    I never dialed 911 in my life until I ran a business in Old Town.

    The other cities Eureka is being compared to also have outlying unincorporated communities. Anyone living here that reads the paper and talks to neighbors knows we have a serious crime problem.

    So far, no one has mentioned that the average income in Eureka is about half the rest of the state, that 75% of local residents can’t afford to purchase a home here, that this kind of poverty breeds crime.

    Supporting Option “A” of the county General Plan is a good first step in improving our quality of life, which also attracts capital investment.

  43. MAX
    July 10, 2009 at 6:45 am

    I agree let’s allow our criminal element have an opportunity to flee your house in a walkable/runnable manner. Having all of the socio-economic groups live together will do great things for Eureka. Just think, our kids can be exposed to meth-heads and tweakers on a daily basis. Get real! Option A is a pipe dream lifted from communities that actually have industry and jobs.

  44. Anonymous
    July 10, 2009 at 10:22 am

    As I see it, the single most important thing a Eurekan can do to protect against crime is to avoid using drugs. Especially to avoid dealing drugs.

    After that, strong doors and windows can help.

    Choose your neighborhood carefully. Crime in Eureka seems to be all about “location, location, location.” You’re better off living in a neighborhood where people take good care of their property. It shows they care enough to pull weeds and probably also enough to call the police when they see something bad happening.

  45. HumRed
    July 10, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Yes look at the downtown areas of so many large cities. Capital investment is just flowing in at the rate of billions a year. Oh I’m sorry I though you said social services.

  46. norbert
    June 30, 2015 at 12:55 am

    Eureka is the armpit of California. Inbreds, rednecks, crazy arse righties hating on everything and everyone who doesn’t agree. Yuck! Mind me I’m not referring to everyone. But anyone I’ve met born and raised in Humboldt aren’t all hippies. Southern humboldt isn’t as bad nor smelly. Ugh to Eureka

  47. July 28, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    hello I’m thinking to move to myrtletown I have one 7years old daughter I research on criminal rates I know eureka it’s a dangerous city to live but what about myrtletown? I really need help with this, if anyone can give me a suggestion please appropriate

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