Ohio : Safety by City
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Middletown, Ohio, is centrally located between Dayton and Cincinnati on the Miami River.
It’s a city that thrives on its historical charm, cultural richness, and natural beauty.
The town’s location along the Great Miami Riverway provides ample opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to explore the natural beauty of the region.
Whether it’s hiking, kayaking, or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll along the riverbanks, Middletown offers a serene escape into nature.
Middletown’s history dates back to the early 19th century when Stephen Vail, a successful paper manufacturer, founded it.
The town’s industrial heritage is evident in its historic buildings and landmarks, which have been lovingly preserved.
Middletown was a significant player in the steel industry during the 20th century, and this industrial past is a part of its cultural identity.
You’ll find many historic districts throughout the community.
Of course, you’ll also find a city trying to redefine itself and stand out as the industrial economic boost waned.
The city of 50,000 is largely residential.
Things to do in Middletown outside historic venues largely focus on community events.
In this article, we’ll focus specifically on Middletown, but you can read our complimentary articles for Dayton and Cincinnati to get a better look at this corridor along the river.
Warnings & Dangers in Middletown
OVERALL RISK: LOW
There's a low risk in Middletown, but it's not the most exciting location. Even the tourism sites for the city direct you to Dayton or Cincinnati for many activities.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
You can review the Butler County Regional Transit Authority to see if the public transportation works for your needs. Taxis and rideshares are available but not as robust as you'd find in the larger cities. You'll likely want a rental car since you need to get to Middletown from the airport anyway.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: MEDIUM
The city averages 12 pickpockets or purse snatchings a year, which is rather high for a city of this size. It's the low end of a medium risk, but use caution with your wallet and purse. Carry a wallet in your front pants pocket or inside a hidden jacket pocket. Bring a small purse that doesn't stand out and limit what you carry with you.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
You'll face the potential for severe weather year-round, but all risks come with plenty of advance notice. Severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, flash flooding, blizzards, snow storms, ice storms, and extreme temperatures are all possible seasonally.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
Robberies are 45% lower than the national average, so this is a low risk. Keep it low by only walking around well-lit areas, and don't go into neighborhoods where you don't have a reason to be.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
This is a low risk, with no hard target or threats to speak of. However, no American city is immune to domestic terrorism or gun crime. That's why you'll repeatedly hear the statement "See Something, Say Something" to encourage you to report suspicious activity.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
Scams here target residents, so there's a low risk you'll face one. With one in five people living in poverty here, you might get panhandled. Just say "No" and keep walking.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Women face the same low risk as anyone else, but it's always imperative to use standard personal safety steps. Don't walk around alone, and don't meet someone online and then go to a private place.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
You can read the latest Water Quality Report on the city's website, as well as what to do if there's a boil order for water. The risk is low, but it helps to stay informed in case something changes.
Safest Places to Visit in Middletown
You have two options to research things to do and places to visit in Middletown.
One is the Visitor section of the city’s website, with a down-and-dirty list of things to do.
The other is the Middletown Economic Development website.
There’s also TravelButlerCounty.com to look at options across the region.
Bull’s Run Arboretum is a serene botanical garden that showcases a diverse collection of trees and plants, making it an ideal spot for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful retreat.
The Canal Museum is housed in a historic canal building; this museum delves into the rich heritage of the region, focusing on the role of canals in shaping the community.
With interactive exhibits and informative displays, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of Middletown’s past, making it an excellent stop for history enthusiasts and those curious about the town’s development.
The Shartle House is a well-preserved historical landmark.
This elegant mansion dates back to the 19th century and provides visitors with a glimpse into the town’s architectural heritage.
With its striking design and period-specific furnishings, it’s a must-visit for those interested in experiencing the charm of a bygone era.
Downtown Middletown is what’s known as a DORA in Ohio.
That stands for Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area.
What that means is you can carry beverages (alcohol for those over 21) around the designated boundaries.
This is especially fun when there are live concerts or festivals happening downtown.
For entertainment, you can check the schedule at Sorg Opera House.
It’s one of the premiere performance venues in Butler County.
The Great Miami Riverway in Middletown is a recreational haven for outdoor enthusiasts.
This scenic riverway offers opportunities for kayaking, biking, hiking, and fishing, allowing visitors to connect with the natural beauty of the Great Miami River.
It covers 99 miles of the river, with an access point in the city.
Places to Avoid in Middletown
Middletown doesn’t necessarily have places that are too dangerous to visit, but there are some poverty-stricken parts of town that might make you feel uncomfortable.
Of course, that largely depends on what you’re used to in your hometown.
The areas around downtown and west of Verity Parkway in West Middletown have the highest crime rates.
Anything east of Highland Street (you’ll need to draw an imaginary line to cover full north and south) is safer and has more things to do.
Franklin has some areas that social media posts suggest aren’t the safest to be around, and from a quick overview, Franklin has higher crime rates.
Middletown largely has big box stores and chain restaurants.
One of the biggest complaints from residents is that you have to go to Dayton or Cincinnati to get more culture.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Middletown
- Middletown does have its own police department. You can follow them on Facebook or Instagram @MPDOhio or call (513) 425-7700 with specific safety questions.
- Sign up for CodeRED emergency alerts through the emergency information section of the city’s website. This will alert you to things like approaching severe weather, parking bans, or public safety threats.
- The Middletown Police Department has crime maps where you can see the most recent crimes. This will help you get a better idea of criminal activity closer to your visit. We base our reviews on the latest official crime data, which always ends with the previous calendar year. The crime map is helpful for situations like if you want to search for car thefts within a 1/2 mile of your hotel.
- You can also follow the city of Middletown on YouTube and review videos of recent events or new attractions coming. That handle is @@CityofMiddletownOhio. Just be sure to skip past the city council meetings, as those aren’t going to tell you a lot of information that is helpful for a visit.
- Fishing and hunting both require licenses. The Ohio Department of Fish & Game has all the information on its website. You should know a fishing license is pretty easy to get, but a hunting license requires specific safety training and standards.
- You’ll want to use the Ohgo website and app to track traffic, construction zones, and weather conditions before you head out on the interstate. Create your own routes to get personalized notifications, too.
- The city has a Notify Me section with some topics that would be helpful during your visit. I would definitely sign up for the Weather and News Flash sections.
- While you should never drive while distracted, it’s now illegal to even hold your mobile device in your hand or in your lap while driving. Moreover, police officers can pull you over and give you a ticket just for that offense. If you need to adjust your GPS, please take the time to stop the vehicle safely in a parking area.
- You should know the difference between weather terminology, such as a tornado watch versus a tornado warning. A watch means conditions are ripe for weather capable of producing tornadoes to form. A tornado warning means a tornado is happening, either radar-indicated or spotted by a storm chaser. The warnings require you to seek immediate shelter.
- Winter visitors should keep a stash of snacks and bottled water in the event a weather event knocks out power. It doesn’t even take a big storm to cause power outages. You can also ask your hotel if there’s a backup generator in the event of a power outage.
So... How Safe Is Middletown Really?
Middletown is among the safer cities in Ohio, with a violent crime rate that’s 17% lower than the state average and 39% lower than the national average.
In addition, just 10% of violent crimes happened against strangers over the past five years, with more than half of those crimes happening in private homes.
Robberies are down 60% since 2019, and that’s at a time when the population was growing.
Thefts are 17% higher than the national average, with 25% of all thefts related to shoplifting and another 20% being related to car break-ins or accessory thefts.
That average of 12 pickpockets and purse snatching is high compared to some other Ohio cities of similar size.
Using standard safety precautions, common sense, and situational awareness goes a long way here.
Keep in mind visiting Columbus or Cincinnati has a different crime risk.
You can read our articles about those locations to learn more.
How Does Middletown Compare?
|Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)||43|
|Siem Reap (Cambodia)||63|
|Phnom Penh (Cambodia)||61|
|Niagara Falls (Canada)||87|
To access the country, international travelers are required to obtain a visa or a visa waiver. The U.S. State Department website contains detailed information about visa waiver eligibility. A valid passport is also required.
You'll need to pay for everything in the U.S. Dollar currency, and using a credit card offers the best fraud protection. Cincinnati's airport has a currency exchange in Terminal B. If you are a member of a bank, you'll find the lowest exchange fees there.
Packing for a trip to Middletown is pretty easy if you look at the weather forecast and pack for the season. Winters can have extended stretches of cold weather. Summers will be hot and humid. Anytime the temperatures are warm, you'll want bug spray, especially when exploring the wilderness areas. Spring and fall can have fluctuating temperatures day to day. Packing layers will help keep up with the changes.
You're about an hour from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, which is the largest option nearby. Dayton International Airport is slightly closer but won't have as many flight options.
Where weather may impede travel, insurance gives peace of mind. Also, get health coverage if lacking internationally. Verify rental car policies guard you in case of an accident or breakdown.
Middletown Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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Ohio - Safety by City