Indiana : Safety by City
- Cedar Lake
- Crown Point
- Fort Wayne
- Michigan City
- Santa Claus
- South Bend
- Terre Haute
- Winona Lake
Jeffersonville, Indiana, sits on a very blurred line as part of the Louisville, Kentucky metro area.
Is this the Midwest with a Southern twist?
Or the South that happens to straddle a Midwestern state?
Give us your thoughts in the comments below.
Once a builder of steamboats and barges, the city is as rich with history as it is with its bourbon.
Jeffersonville, or “Jeff” as the locals call it, is just north of Louisville and across the Ohio River.
The underground railroad crossed that mighty river, as slaves sought refuge in the north.
Mobsters once used this city as their playground, earning it the nickname “Little Las Vegas.”
Whether you walk across the Big Four Bridge into Louisville, ride down Riverside looking at the stately homes perched above the river, or explore the historic downtown food scene, Jeff is a great place to visit.
If I can provide you with a bit of humor from my research.
I like to Google Map Street View as much of a city as I can while reviewing it.
As I watched the view down one street near the Ohio River, I thought to myself “That is a very narrow road.”
As I soon realized, I had dropped the little Google man on the Ohio River Greenway, a bicycle and walking path, and not my intended Riverside Drive.
Warnings & Dangers in Jeffersonville
OVERALL RISK : LOW
There is a low overall risk in Jeffersonville, but not "no risk." The city has a fair amount of crime, but still nowhere near the dangerous levels of some other cities in Indiana. All crime rates are well below the state average.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Transit Authority of River City (TARC) provides the public bus transportation here and it serves both sides of the river. You can also easily get a taxi or rideshare. Rental cars are readily accessible too. There's low risk with any option.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
You have a low risk here, but there were four purse snatching reported in 2020. As with any big metro area, you should carry as little as necessary with you and keep your wallet or purse as concealed as possible.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
"Marysville is gone." Those words were repeated by the Jeffersonville Mayor when a tornado wiped out a neighboring community in 2012. Severe storms and devastating tornadoes are very possible here. There's a risk of the Ohio River flooding its banks and history has shown how devastating that can be. There are also winter storms, ice storms, and ice jams that can cause more flooding. There's a medium risk because of all these separate concerns. Please stay weather aware when you visit here.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
With 13 robberies in 2020, just one of them was in a public place. It's nice to write that there's a low risk here of being mugged. I haven't had that luxury in a bunch of Indiana city safety articles.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
We consider any large population area a medium risk if only to promote vigilance among tourists. The Louisville metro area has 1.4 million people. Operation Thunderstruck was held in this region, including the Jeffersonville side of the river. The operation was a simulation of a mass casualty incident involving terrorists. You can rest assured that law enforcement in this area has been trained for terror attacks since 2021 at the latest.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
The latest scam in this city involved someone trying to charge residents for having the wrong kind of residential trash can. There are the typical phone scams too, but nothing that targets tourists. You can feel safe there's a low risk of being scammed here.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
No sexual assault data was provided by the police department in 2020, but using common sense and basic safety measures should keep women at low risk here. You shouldn't be walking around at night in unfamiliar neighborhoods, and try to stay with a group when you are out at night.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
There were no violations in 2020 according to the water quality report. American Water provides tap water here, and the company has a long history of water quality excellence.
Safest Places to Visit in Jeffersonville
Just walking around downtown is a feast for the eyes with all the historic buildings, and that’s before you even go into a store or restaurant.
Stop by the Bad Cat Boutiques for work by local artists.
Common Haus Hall is a German restaurant with long tables where everyone is welcome and that’s a great way to meet people in a new city.
One note for visitors here.
TownPlace Suites is right by the Big Four pedestrian bridge, which is a fantastic location.
It’s technically listed as Louisville North.
Just 2.3 miles away over the bridge is TownPlace Suites Louisville Downtown.
If you book there, be sure you know which side of the river you are on.
The Howard Steamboat Museum is one of the top historical places to visit in Jeff.
In another humorous moment, I thought briefly the owner’s name was Howard Steamboat.
The Howard family built a shipyard here that lasted more than a century and built at least 1,100 ships.
The family home is immaculately preserved down to the brass gasoliers.
It’s safe to take a trip on the Big Four Bridge and you’ll be surrounded by plenty of company.
This is a bridge only for pedestrians and cyclists, while vehicles take another nearby bridge.
The city turned an old railroad bridge into this masterpiece.
Pay special attention to the lighting on the bridge.
There’s even a bike share station here, so you don’t have to miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime ride.
For a sweet piece of history, visit Schimpff’s Confectionary.
Use the excuse that it’s the longest-standing business in the whole city to indulge in some homemade candy or fudge.
You might just fall in love with Modjeskas, but I’ll let you find out for yourself what that is once you’re there.
I need to take you just outside of Jeffersonville for this next one, but you won’t regret it.
Channel your inner Lewis & Clark exploratory side to see the site where the two teamed up for their walk westward.
There was a replica cabin of George Clark’s located here, but in 2021 someone burned it down, and now just a chimney stands until local leaders can decide the next steps.
There’s also a dry fossil lake here with tours that teach you about centuries before Lewis & Clark were even born.
This area also has a stunning view of the falls on the Ohio River and plenty of fishing.
Places to Avoid in Jeffersonville
The area north of 10th Street and east of I-69 is the highest crime area when you look at the crime map.
This is a city where you don’t have to worry about crime all the time, but you do always have to be aware of your surroundings.
You should use basic safety steps as you would in any big city.
There is a popular marketing phrase used to describe Jeffersonville and other southern Indiana cities.
It was “The Sunny Side of Louisville.”
Whether it was a jab at the Kentucky of the city, an honest marketing pitch, or an uppity way to describe the region – nobody will fess up.
Regardless, that slogan disappeared in 2016 faster than you could say “Pour me another bourbon.”
Now the branding is That’s SoIN (Southern Indiana = SoIN).
Safety Tips for Traveling to Jeffersonville
- The key to helping keep a community safe or prevent crime from spreading is to report suspicious activity to the police as soon as possible. Call 911 when it’s an emergency. The police department is adding an online crime reporting function to its website. You can also call the anonymous tip line at (812)218-TIPS (8477).
- For those visiting in the summer, check the city street department section of the city website. Paving is done each year to fix the potholes and cracks from the winter weather. Not only will paving block off a road, but it’s also illegal to park on a street that is about to be paved or being paved.
- If you see any dangerous potholes during your visit here, call the street department at (812)285-6455 and let them know. Residents might be so used to potholes that they don’t report them consistently, so you can help leave a place safer than you found it.
- For any fishing in this area, you need either an Indiana or Kentucky state-issued fishing license. You don’t need both. The states have an agreement that as long as an angler has one or the other, they can fish on both sides of the river.
- If you are going to walk over the Big Four Bridge, you should know it’s 2.4 miles – each way. If you’re not used to walking that far in a day, you should consider riding a bike or walking over the bridge and ridesharing back. Don’t wear dressy shoes for this walk – comfy tennis shoes are going to be a lot easier on your feet.
- When you are visiting the fossil beds, you cannot take any of the fossils. Take all the pictures you’d like and keep walking as far as it is safe to do so. The types of fossils change as you go. Pick up a map at the interpretive center so you know what to look for when fossil hunting. There is a pile of rock and mud near the center where you can dig through the collecting piles and pick up some rocks to take home.
- Be sure to check the river stage before you go to the fossil beds or anywhere near the river. The higher the water, the more dangerous it is for all water activities. Swimming isn’t banned in the river, but it is quite dangerous due to the current, barge traffic, and debris in the water.
- If you are visiting this area in early May and can’t figure out why all the hotels are sold out or the room rates are so high, that’s because it’s Kentucky Derby season. If you are coming for the Derby or just happen to be visiting during that time, book well in advance to get a room. Hotels generally allow you to book up to a year in advance.
- Jeffersonville has been a city reinventing itself for a while now, and there are always new businesses and tourist attractions opening up. On the city website, go to the Communications section and read the “Jeffersonville Progress” newsletter for events happening closer to your time of visit.
- If you’re there during a fresh snowfall, there are many hills in this area perfect for sledding. You can only sled in designated sledding areas when the “Sledding Hill Open” sign is up. There are evening hours for sledding with courses lit up.
So... How Safe Is Jeffersonville Really?
Jeffersonville is part of a big city, so it’s going to have its share of crime.
Indiana cities statewide are having issues with a gun and drug-related violence.
Jeffersonville is no different.
While the latest data reported to the FBI shows lower than average crime rates, there are some recent events I feel you should know about.
One happened in the middle of the day, when a road rage incident started with tailgating and speeding, then ended with gunshots being fired into a car.
The suspect was a felon who shouldn’t have had a gun and eventually turned himself in.
Another was a shooting at the Big Four Bridge Park.
Five teenagers were shot in that incident at 9:30 pm on a Sunday.
I give these examples to make you aware of the dangers in tourist areas and, while it’s not a common occurrence, it’s not improbable either.
Even a bystander at the park shooting told Spectrum News, “I always feel very, very safe here, so I’m really surprised.
It’s really sad that that happened.”
How Does Jeffersonville Compare?
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- Visas - The visa process for entry to the United States takes up to four months, so plan ahead. You'll have to fill out forms, do an in-person interview, and list all the social media sites you've had for the past five years. Once in the U.S., you don't need your visa to get between cities or states.
- Currency - The U.S. Dollar (USD) is the only form of currency accepted here. You should bring a credit card if you have one and just use one card for all purchases. This way you can better monitor activity and see any fraudulent purchases.
- Weather - Jeffersonville gets all four seasons, so you'll need to pack accordingly. Winters can get cold, so bring a coat, gloves, and a hat. Waterproof insulated boots are a great idea. Summers are going to be humid and hot. You'll need comfortable clothing you don't mind sweating in. Bring some layers of clothing for spring and fall as temperatures can vary greatly.
- Airports - Louisville International Airport is just 10 miles south of Jeffersonville. You'll cross over the Ohio River into Kentucky to get there.
- Travel Insurance - Travel insurance is a great idea for a region that can be impacted by various weather events.
Jeffersonville Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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