Lawrence is the 87th safest place to live among U.S. cities that have at least 75,000 residents, according to rankings released Monday by a Lawrence publisher.
"I think it's very good," said Scott Morgan, president of the Morgan Quitno Press publishing and research company. "To be in the top quarter of cities is pretty good."
For the fourth consecutive year, residents of the upstate New York community of Amherst can boast theirs is the safest city among the 350 compared by Morgan Quitno.
At the opposite end of the crime scale, Detroit returns to the spotlight as the nation's most dangerous city, replacing last year's leader, St. Louis.
Other cities of local interest: Overland Park was ranked 29th safest; St. Joseph, Mo., 64th; Olathe, 81st; Columbia, Mo., 85th; Independence, Mo., 165th; Wichita, 207th; Topeka, 239th; and Kansas City, Mo., 323rd.
The rankings were developed from statistics drawn from six crime categories: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and motor vehicle theft.
The findings are included in the new edition of City Crime Rankings, a 400-page reference book to be published Dec. 8 by Morgan Quitno. The book is frequently sold to libraries, government agencies and businesses.
Rounding out the top five safest cities were Brick Township, N.J.; Mission Viejo, Calif.; Simi Valley, Calif., and Cary, N.C.
Joining Detroit and St. Louis, which ranked 349th, at the bottom of the index, in ascending order, are Atlanta, Camden, N.J., and Washington, D.C.
|Top 10 cities of at least 75,000 people in the 10th annual Safest City Award prepared by Morgan Quitno Press of Lawrence:1. Amherst, N.Y.; 2. Brick Township, N.J.; 3. Mission Viejo, Calif.; 4. Simi Valley, Calif.; 5. Cary, N.C.; 6. Thousand Oaks, Calif.; 7. Colonie, N.Y.; 8. Clarkstown, N.Y.; 9. Orem, Utah; 10. Sunnyvale, Calif.The 10 most dangerous cities:1. Detroit; 2. St. Louis; 3. Atlanta; 4. Camden, N.J.; 5. Washington, D.C.; 6. Compton, Calif.; 7. Dayton, Ohio; 8. Baltimore; 9. Tampa, Fla.; 10. Gary, Ind.|
Morgan said the book included all cities of 75,000 or more people that reported crime data to the FBI for the six crime categories included in the rankings. Final 2002 statistics, released by the FBI in October, were used to determine the rankings.
Morgan said Lawrence hadn't been ranked in the past because incomplete information was funneled from Kansas officials to the FBI.
The safest city rankings are one of five Morgan Quitno awards produced annually. Others are Most Livable State, Healthiest State, Safest and Most Dangerous States, and Smartest State.