Arizona : Safety by City
- Casa Grande
- Lake Havasu City
- Oro Valley
- Sierra Vista
Glendale, Arizona, transformed itself from an old-fashioned city to one bustling with sports, entertainment, and unique desert experiences.
It butts right up to the Phoenix city lines on its east and south borders with Peoria to its north.
The city looks like a Jenga piece, with boundaries forming a backward “L” shape.
If Glendale sounds familiar to you, that’s no surprise.
The Super Bowl was held here in 2008, 2015, and is scheduled for the 2023 big game.
It’s also home to the annual Fiesta Bowl.
Major League Baseball spring trains at two locations here.
Not a sports fan?
No worries, as there are spas, shopping, dining, and outdoor options galore.
The Westgate Entertainment District pivots between a daytime shopping destination and a nightlife hotspot.
The open-air mall is cooled by “misters” which spray water onto tourists, but the arid climate soaks up the water before it hits you, leaving a cooling breeze behind.
Glendale is a hot spot in the Phoenix valley, but it brings a certain number of safety risks.
Warnings & Dangers in Glendale
OVERALL RISK: MEDIUM
The overall risk is medium in Glendale. Compared to other cities of its size in Arizona, Glendale ranks higher in violent crimes, robbery, aggravated assault, property crime, burglary, larceny/theft, and motor vehicle theft. The Glendale Police PIO told the Glendale Star in 2019, "There’s so much more that goes into a ‘safe’ city. Statistics are just a small portion."
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
There are several low-risk options for getting around Glendale. The Dial-A-Ride and Glendale Urban Shuttle are low and no-cost options run by the city. You can hail a traditional cab or rideshare, both of which are required to have permits through the Arizona Department of Transportation.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: MEDIUM
There's a medium risk here because of all the large events that draw crowds. Most are crimes of opportunity. Glendale was named the top "Emerging Travel Destination" by Trivago in 2017. With more tourists, come more crooks trying to take advantage of people.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
While known for more than 300 days of sunshine, Glendale still has a medium risk of natural disasters. Summer brings the monsoon, which is a series of fast-developing storms that pop up and then fizzle out, but drop a lot of water and stir up wicked winds during their short life span. There's also the danger of wildfires and the resulting smoke that can coat the Phoenix valley. Sun exposure without proper precautions can quickly lead to heatstroke and dehydration.
MUGGING RISK: MEDIUM
Just like pickpockets, muggers are looking for crimes of opportunity in a tourist destination. There's a medium to high risk of mugging depending on if it's a big event season or not. The FBI statistics don't break out individual crimes like mugging, but with assault and theft being higher than cities of similar size in Arizona, this is a beautiful location with an underbelly of crime travelers should know.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
This is a low risk. The only big terrorist target in Arizona is the Hoover Dam, which is 4 hours away to the northwest. During big events like the Super Bowl or NCAA Championships, that risk would jump to medium. It's important to note that even with an elevated risk, the Arizona Counter TerrorismInformation Center is open 24/7 to chase after any known risk.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
The Better Business Bureau keeps a list of scams in each city, and Glendale has a shortlist of common scams. This gives it a low risk. The key to keeping it that way is being informed of current scams before you travel so you don't fall victim.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: MEDIUM
The State Department data shows Arizona is a hot spot for human trafficking, giving younger women who visit the area a medium risk. With lots of tourists and the main thoroughfare on interstates combined with the proximity to the Mexican border, the state is aggressively working to inform citizens and tourists of the risks. Girls as young as 9 can be lured into this dangerous situation. Half of the victims are under 16. For women not at risk of trafficking, those theft and larceny numbers we talked about earlier also give it a medium risk. Know your surroundings and keep your purse close and secured.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The tap water risk is low in Glendale and the supply is tested several times daily to meet EPA standards. Glendale is part of a metropolitan area that is always in a battle over water and water rights. It's important when using tap water in Arizona you practice good water conservation methods.
Safest Places to Visit in Glendale
The beauty of visiting Glendale is you can choose to be packed into a stadium of sports fans, cheering on your team, or alone in a desert wilderness with only a desert tortoise to keep you company.
State Farm Stadium is the big draw in Glendale for sporting events, concerts, and trade shows.
Be sure to look up and down while you are there, as the stadium is one of a kind with a retractable field and roof.
The big events bring extra security and security measures for the safety of tourists.
For shopping, you’ve got several options, from outlet stores to historic downtown Glendale gas-lantern-lit streets to a traditional modern mall at Arrowhead Town Center.
The Westgate Entertainment District offers something for everyone day and night.
All shopping areas have security and routine police department patrols.
Outdoor enthusiasts will love the Elsie McCarthy Sensory Garden, Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium, and Safari Park, and the nearby White Tank Mountain Regional Park nearby with 30,000 acres to explore.
Places to Avoid in Glendale
It is safest to stay in tourist destinations in the Glendale area.
You are going to get the most security and police patrols in these areas.
You do need to keep your guard up during events so criminals won’t see you as an easy target.
Crime mapping shows the largest amount of crime happening in the southeast corner of the city as it gets closer to neighboring Phoenix.
If you think of the city shape as a backward “L”, avoid the area where the “L” makes an angle.
There’s not much of a reason to venture into the northern part of Glendale, as it’s mostly residential.
If you do need to visit that area, crime rates get lowered the more north you go.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Glendale
- Avoid big bags or bulky wallets when traveling to Glendale, Arizona, especially for big events. This will make you less likely to be a target of theft. Check if your bank has a way to pay for items through their app so you don’t need a bunch of credit or debit cards. The less bulk you carry around, the better.
- You’ll be happy to have less to carry around because the heat in Arizona can do a number on you. Temperatures can easily get above 100 in the spring, summer, and fall. You don’t sweat much in the desert because the dry climate evaporates it right off your skin. Drink water every 15-20 minutes to stay hydrated.
- Hyperthermia can set in quickly in the Arizona sun. Know the signs like nausea, dizziness, and heavy breathing. If your body temperature is greater than 104°(F), seek medical help.
- Every day, check two things before you leave your hotel – air quality and storm potential. The sunniest of days can quickly turn into stormy skies with heavy downpours and lightning risks. The air quality can be impacted by wildfires hundreds of miles away. Knowing these two items will better help you safely plan your day.
- If you are going to be out in the sun, wear water-proof, long-lasting sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30. The Arizona sunburn can quickly spoil a good vacation day and could also lead to skin cancer.
- Don’t be a “Stupid Motorist.” Yes, there’s a “Stupid Motorist” Law in Arizona. If you come across a road that is flooded by a storm, do not attempt to drive around barriers or go through the water. Not only can fast-moving water hurt or kill you, but it’s also a crime. You could have to pay for the cost of your rescue if you violate this law.
- Avoid burns on the pavement and hot surfaces. In August of 2020, more than 100 people were admitted to the Arizona Burn Center for surface burns. This could happen by walking barefoot on a hot surface, sliding down a metal slide in the heat of the day, or even holding onto a guardrail at an outdoor mall. Glendale’s asphalt surfaces can get to almost 200°(F) in direct sunlight.
- Sign up for Reverse 911. If you put your phone number into this Maricopa County database, you’ll get a notification when there is a public safety threat, storm, large fire, or hazmat situation. This is a free service.
- Learn a few basic lines in Spanish, as nearly 40% of Glendale, Arizona residents are Hispanic.
•“I don’t speak Spanish.” = No hablo Espanol
•“Do you speak English?” = Habla usted Ingles
•“I am lost” = Estoy perdido
•“I do not understand” = Yo no comprendo
- Runaway from a rattle. If you hear a rattling sound, it might be a rattlesnake. They can be found in the wide-open desert but have made their way to the Phoenix valley. Don’t try to get a quick Instagram photo or get too close. They can become agitated easily and a snake bite can send you to the hospital. Call animal control right away if you see one. The Western Diamondback Rattlesnake is the most common snake in this area.
So... How Safe Is Glendale Really?
Glendale isn’t as safe as other cities of its size in Arizona in just about every major crime category tracked by the FBI.
One in every 130 residents is, on average, the victim of a violent crime.
Compare that to Gilbert, Arizona, where the chances are one in 1,305.
The numbers don’t tell the full story, as there are more tourist destinations in this area than other cities of similar size.
The Chandler Police Department actively works to lower crime rates, inform citizens, and keep tourists safe.
Crimegrade.org says Glendale is safer than 13% of other cities nationwide.
In a message from Police Chief Chris Briggs, he says, “We continuously seek new and improved ways to serve by valuing the input from those within our community.
We encourage you to be part of our team and stay engaged with us through our website, social media, and in person.
We recognize that trust and confidence are earned and we are committed to serving those that depend on us.
Through open dialogue and continued partnerships, we can be successful in creating a healthy and safe environment.”
How Does Glendale Compare?
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You won't need a special visa to get into Arizona. All the international processing is done at the airport. You should bring a passport with you if you plan on traveling to the popular border city of Nogales. You'll need that to get across the border in both directions.
U.S. currency is accepted widely in Glendale, Arizona. Some of the bigger entertainment venues offer pre-purchases of tickets and then you just show a code when you enter, so that's a safe and easy way to pay. There isn't a pressing need for cash in this community and that will help with safety when you aren't spotted with a bankroll.
Glendale is mild in the winter months but can get some bone-chilling cold temperatures. It's a different cold than those from a more humid climate. The temperature ranges can be wild as well, with lows in the 40's in the morning and possibly in the 80's by afternoon. The summer months are incredibly hot. Be prepared for highs above 100°(F) in June, July, August, and even September. For winter, pack a jacket and pants, and in summer, bring light, loose clothing with sturdy shoes that can handle the hot pavement.
The biggest airport in the region is Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. It's 14 miles away from Glendale. Phoenix is a rapidly growing city and the highways can't always keep up with the traffic, so during rush hour expect delays. That 18-minute drive can quickly turn into an hour commute. The Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport is another commercial option that is 46 miles away on the other side of the Phoenix Valley and that's at least an hour's drive.
With Phoenix being such a great destination city and Sky Harbor has a lot of connections, a trip can quickly get canceled, delayed, or re-routed. It's a good idea to get travel insurance, so even if things go wrong, you'll be in Glendale again before you know it without having to pay more out of pocket.
Glendale Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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Arizona - Safety by City
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