Indiana : Safety by City
- Cedar Lake
- Crown Point
- Fort Wayne
- Michigan City
- Santa Claus
- South Bend
- Terre Haute
- Winona Lake
Greenwood, Indiana, is the biggest suburb on the south side of Indianapolis and has the busy I-65 running through the east side of the city.
This has created a major shopping and residential area outside of the city but close enough to live the best of both the urban and suburban worlds.
The hotels in Greenwood are located right along that interstate, making for easy access to the city and some of the rural outdoor wilderness areas in Indiana.
The main attraction in Greenwood is the retail area around Greenwood Park Mall.
The city is also home to 17 parks with all kinds of outdoor activities.
At first blush, this looks like a cookie-cutter version of every other dense suburban area out there.
In all honesty, it looks that way too on the second and third blush.
What truly makes this region stand out are the events throughout the year.
This part of Indianapolis is known as Festival Country for the wide variety of festivals and events held among eight different cities lining the southern metro area.
Festival Country, Indiana, is a website that lists the main attractions in this region. It does a great job of NOT making it look cookie-cutter and for that I applaud them.
Some of the popular festivals and events in Greenwood include:
- Mud Day: A day to play in the mud (seriously)
- Freedom Festival: Last Saturday in June but very similar to a 4th of July event
- Summer Concert Series: Saturday evenings in the summer in Craig Park
- Just Plane Fun: Airplanes and military aircraft with free rides for kids
- Pickleball Festival: Happens each May.
- Monster Mash & Halloween Parade: Halloween community events in late October
- KiD CiTY Christmas: Train rides through a trail lit with Christmas lights and various holiday crafts and food
- Valentine’s Dance: Open to the whole community, including some of the cutest daddy/daughter dances I’ve ever seen
Ok, so it really is Festival Country because I’m not even done with the list, and that’s just one of the eight cities.
Warnings & Dangers in Greenwood
OVERALL RISK : LOW
There's a low risk here. The majority of crimes here are property crimes with just 13% of crimes being against people. The only crime rate higher than the national average is the theft rate and that's not too much higher anyway.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
IndyGo is the public bus system in this region and can take you throughout the suburbs or right into Indianapolis. There are taxis and rideshares openly available. There's low risk with any option.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
There's a low risk of this happening to you. From 2017 through 2020, there was only one purse snatching. There is a one in 65 risks of being a theft victim, but it's not because of the pickpocketing numbers.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
You should prepare for the potential of severe weather in spring and summer, with tornadoes possible mostly in the spring. Winter brings a less than national average risk of snow, but there's a risk of ice accompanying those storms too. An average day is going to be a low risk, but if you are there during any kind of weather watch or warning, the risk goes up.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
The risk of being robbed in a public place is low and the overall robbery rate is half the national average. There's a low risk here.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
Indianapolis is a major metropolitan area, so it's automatically going to be a medium risk. There's no reason for Greenwood to be the actual target.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
There are scams reported by fake IRS workers and police officers, but those all involve calling phones with local area codes. You should feel safe with a low risk of being scammed here.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Women shouldn't have any additional worries when visiting Greenwood. There's a lot to do, from the festivals to shopping to parks, and the sexual assault rate is 32% lower than the national average.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
American Water is the provider here and it consistently ranks among the top water utility companies in the Midwest. All of the water tested for the 2021 Annual Water Quality Report meets or exceeds requirements.
Safest Places to Visit in Greenwood
The Greenwood Park Mall is a great gathering place for the whole family, with shopping, dining, and a playground for the kids.
This is also where the Summer Concert Series is held each summer.
There’s a historic clock in Greenwood near the city center which is touted as one of the best selfie spots in the city.
In the spirit of being a festival city, there’s a Rock the Clock annual event that happens here.
This festival is a block party for everyone and brings people from all over Indiana.
Ditch the national brand of restaurants and try out a drive-in dining experience and Mr. Suds.
Leave room for dessert so you can enjoy the ice cream rated the best in the state at Mrs. Curl.
Jockamo is a popular pizza place with creative menu items and a section just for hangover pizzas.
I highly recommend taco pizza if you haven’t tried it before.
The sandwich of the state is the pork tenderloin sandwich, which includes a giant piece of fried tenderloin hanging over what looks like a small bun.
The typical community center is turned on its head here in Greenwood with a special section called KiD CiTY.
There are two stories of space to explore.
There are some adult amenities here, like yoga if you’d like to get some exercise too.
For winter fun, there’s a sledding hill at Freedom Park.
Cross Country Skiing is available at Laura Hare Preserve at Blossom Hollow, which is about 30 minutes south of Greenwood.
Places to Avoid in Greenwood
Crime maps show the areas with the higher crime rates are in a square area bordered by County Line Road to the north, I-65 to the east, Main Street to the south, and Oakridge Way to the west.
There is a lot of traffic in Greenwood, but then again, almost every community complains about traffic.
More than 3,600 speeding tickets were given out in Greenwood in 2021.
That’s about 10 per day.
Almost that many speeding warnings were given out.
Avoid speeding so you don’t have to add a traffic ticket to your vacation budget.
Greenwood Police listed the top 10 reasons why people got into traffic accidents in 2021.
Here are the top 5:
- Failure to yield right of way
- Following too closely
- Distracted Driver
- Unsafe lane change
- Unsafe backing up of vehicle
You should also avoid fishing anywhere in Indiana without a license.
Your home fishing license won’t suffice.
You can get a license through the Indiana Department of Fish & Game.
Be sure to get a non-resident license.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Greenwood
- The police department offers an online crime map where you search for crime around a certain address. This is a great way to track crime trends closer to your time of the visit and once you know where you’ll be staying.
- You can submit a crime tip or report a crime on the police department’s website. In an emergency situation, you should always call 911. However, these forms can make it easy for a traveler on the go to give information without having to stop and talk to an officer directly.
- That same form can be used to ask the police any travel-related question you might have. The Greenwood Police Department is very transparent and wants to make sure residents and visitors feel safe in the community.
- The city’s section of the website has a bunch of spots where you can report issues like potholes or graffiti. However, as of mid-2022, that form isn’t working. I have reported it to the webmaster. If you need to call the city to make a complaint or express a safety concern, the main line is (317) 887-5000. Hopefully, they’ll get the online contact form fixed soon.
- There is a lot of road construction every season but winter, so you should check the latest construction updates from the city to see if it impacts your route. GPS systems don’t always update detours for construction projects in some cities.
- There is a seasonal park guide the city releases called “The Playground.” You can review this for updates on events at the park or updated maps. You can also download the Greenwood Parks & Recreation app to help figure out the best spot for a visit, and seasonal appropriate activities like swimming and sledding.
- The dog parks here aren’t open to the general public. You have to be a member and membership is limited to the first 500 people who sign up and get approved. I’ve seen this trend in a handful of other cities, and I happen to travel a lot with my dog, so it’s somewhat frustrating. I understand the safety concerns, so we just adapt to finding other places to play. There are dog-friendly trails and even some restaurants in Greenwood.
- Freedom Park has a sledding hill in the winter. It is open from 8 a.m. until dusk. You do have to bring your own sled or tube. There’s a paved walkway to the top, but it can still get icy, so use caution when walking back up.
- Study up on the basics of tornado safety through the Severe Weather section of the city’s website. It’s important to know the difference between a watch and a warning. A watch means conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms that could produce a tornado. A warning means a tornado has been spotted by a person or on radar. When a watch is issued, you don’t need to take immediate action, aside from not planning extended outdoor activities. When a warning is issued, you should seek shelter immediately.
- If you are on a trail when severe weather is approaching, head back to the car. Don’t try to hide under a tree to seek shelter until the storm passes. I was once sitting in the family garage as a child watching a storm roll through. A tree across the street was hit by lightning and in a flash, I was covered in bark with a few pieces sticking out of my skin. Being anywhere near trees in lightning is dangerous. Plan ahead and stay weather aware.
So... How Safe Is Greenwood Really?
Greenwood Police released a very detailed 2021 report of all the crime, traffic incidents, and other important safety information.
I highly recommend you read it before visiting.
Greenwood has violent crime rates well below the state and national averages.
This is bucking a trend that is seen across Indiana of increasing gun violence and drug crimes.
The higher risk is property crimes, but it’s nothing a tourist can’t avoid by practicing basic safety steps and common sense.
Always lock the car and roll up the windows when you park.
Take all personal belongings out of the car, including a GPS stand.
Here’s how the risks break down by category:
- Violent Crime: 1 in 709 risk
- Robbery: 1 in 3,191 risk
- Theft: 1 in 65 risk
Always stay aware of your surroundings.
Use the mapping functions the city and police provide to help you be more familiar with your surroundings.
Just taking simple safety steps will make your trip to Festival Country that much safer.
How Does Greenwood Compare?
|Siem Reap (Cambodia)||63|
|Phnom Penh (Cambodia)||61|
|Niagara Falls (Canada)||87|
- Visas - You won't need your Visa to get around the cities surrounding Indianapolis. In fact, you'll really only need it at the airport before you are allowed to exit.
- Currency - You can only use the U.S. Dollar here. You can make most purchases with credit cards, although some of the festivals might have booths with cash-only purchase options. If you do carry cash, don't carry it in a big wad in your wallet.
- Weather - Greenwood gets all four seasons here, so plan accordingly. In winter you'll need all the staples for a place that can be very cold. Bring waterproof boots too. Spring can be muddy, hence that mud festival, so bring shoes you don't mind getting dirty. Summer is going to be hot and humid. Bug spray will be necessary.
- Airports - The Indianapolis International Airport is a 30-minute drive from Greenwood. It's the closest and largest option.
- Travel Insurance - Don't lose money before you can splurge at the festivals. Travel insurance is a great way to protect your trip in a place where the weather changes quickly and leads to delays in the sky and on the roads.
Greenwood Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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