Though Penn State ranked first in The Princeton Review's "Top Party Schools" list for the first time in its history, the Congressional Quarterly Press ranked State College and Centre County as America's second safest metropolitan area for the second year in a row.
You would have to travel nearly 2,000 miles to reach the safest city: Logan, Utah.
To the casual observer, these two statistics don't seem to fit. Indeed, the position of State College is unique.
Among America's five safest metropolitan areas, Centre County is the only one to host a large state university. Further, none of the other universities or colleges in the top ten cities are listed in the Princeton Review's "Top Party Schools" rankings.
The State College area, and indeed all of Centre County, owes its unique distinction to many things.
We owe a lot to the strength of our community. We also owe much of our success to the competence and hard work of law enforcement, and all who are in charge of public safety.
As the chief law enforcement officer of the county, the responsibility of the District Attorney is to keep our community safe. It is a responsibility that the DA shares with all of our law enforcement community, and one which they continue to meet and exceed on a regular basis. According to FBI statistics concerning violent crime and theft, the crime rate for State College was 74 percent below the national average.
We are within less than two points of being the safest metropolitan area in the country.
The juxtaposition of the rankings for Penn State and the State College community remind us that town-gown relations need not be antagonistic.
I've met, and will continue to meet, with many students who share a common concern for our safety. Last year, at the invitation of Penn State University President Graham Spanier, I spoke with incoming freshman athletes.
I will do so again this year.
When I recently spoke at the "Take Back the Night" rally, I was proud of the courage of students who stood up and spoke out to keep our streets free from fear and our community safe.
Most students know how to make the most of their time here, without sacrificing their respect for each other and the rest of our community. Most students know how to enjoy their free time responsibly. You don't hear as much about the responsible students, but you should.
Their example is a far better one of which our community can and should be proud.
I'm proud of the community's commitment to safety.
I'm proud of our community's sense of mutual respect.
I'm proud to live here and raise my family here.
I'm proud of Penn State University and indeed all of Centre County.
Through continued vigilance and cooperation, we can and will be second to none.
Michael Madeira has been the Centre County district attorney since 2006.