Mistake costs Gilbert national safe city recognition - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Mistake costs Gilbert national safe city recognition

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GILBERT, AZ (CBS5) -

A mistake by the Department of Public Safely has cost the town of Gilbert a prestigious national recognition. For the first time in years, Gilbert was left off Business Insider's list of safest cities in the U.S.

According to statistics, it should have come in second place in 2012.

Gina Goodell said she loves where she lives. That's one of the reasons she chose to be a board member on the homeowners association at the Gardens in Gilbert. Earlier this week, she came across the information, and it didn't sit well with her. So she posted it on her HOA's Facebook page.

"It was a very popular post. It was about how they didn't make the safe city list this year because they didn't get the data in on time," said Goodell.

The data or crime statistics Goodell is talking about is gathered by Arizona's Department of Public Safety.

The town of Gilbert submitted that information to DPS, but the agency failed to hand it over to the FBI on time.

"One person does all that here at DPS. What occurred for the preliminary report deadline is that we were late getting it to the FBI because we were waiting for all the data to come in from all the other agencies," said Department of Public Safety spokesperson Bart Graves.

The city of Gilbert didn't know about the mistake until the list was released.

"We were kind of perplexed that Gilbert wasn't on there. The national recognition helps bring people to the Gilbert community, residents and businesses. That's ultimately the impact the listing has for us," said Gilbert spokesperson Jennifer Alvarez.

Celestial Williams owns Just Ruby Clothing. She says there's a reason she chose to grow her business in Gilbert.

"I think when people are looking to move into a community, it's important for them to look at the stats to see what it says, and if it's a safe community, it means something," said Williams.

For residents like Goodell, the impact comes down to dollars and cents.

"Property values. It's all about property values," said Goodell.

The FBI will post an updated list on their website later this fall. Since the mistake, DPS has changed the way information is submitted to the FBI to prevent something like this from happening again.

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