Tucson: Arizona’s most dangerous city

It comes as no shock that Tucson has been reported as the most violent city in Arizona. That’s according to an article on tucson.com, but again, anyone from the area could tell you as much. Tucson suffers from a few problems that make it a particularly good candidate for such problems.

First, it’s near the border, not Nogales close, but it’s the first big city this side of the border, and it’s got more than its share of the drug trade and undocumented workers. The latter are not necessarily more violent, but their position outside the law creates havens where more illegal activity can take place.

Second, there are large pockets of poverty in Tucson, which again, obviously increase the likelihood of crime. The fact these areas blend quickly into more affluent areas means, perhaps, that there’s room for progress as the areas continue to grow better off, but for now, it’s still a significant problem.

Finally, there’s the University of Arizona, a school that does more than its share of partying. That leads to all sorts of issues, including excessive drinking, sexual assault, and even personal injury.

Other parts of the state have some of these issues but not all of them. Phoenix has its poor areas but also very well-off areas like Scottsdale which balance those other areas out. It’s farther from the border and doesn’t have a major party school within the city limits.

Tempe does have a party school, actually THE party school of Arizona, but it’s smaller and again, farther from the border. Mesa is like Tempe without the school.

Which leaves only smaller towns to compete. Arizona’s a state with a few big cities, a lot of small towns, and a lot of space in between. Only Tucson has all the right ingredients (population, bad location, poverty, and a big university) to make it so unsafe.

All that being said, it is worth saying a word in defense of Tucson. For one, many of the poorer areas, as stated above, are improving. U of A, for all its parties, is also a fantastic school with a great reputation. There’s a great deal of great culture in Tucson, with beautiful old architecture, wonderful restaurants, and tons of good new music. And don’t forget that the Saguaro National Park is just outside the town limits to the west and the east, with some beautiful mountains particularly to the east that makes for some remarkable views.

All in all, Tucson could definitely use a little rehabilitation. It could use a little better policing. It could also use a little more money. But for all that, it’s still an incredible city and one that Arizona is very proud to have.