For the second year in a row, El Paso has the lowest crime rate among American cities with populations over 500,000, according to rankings compiled by the CQ Press and released today.
The rankings are based on crime statistics recorded in 2010, and the announcement was another proud moment for the border city, which has been ranked among the top three cities with the lowest crime rates since 1997. Following El Paso on the list are Honolulu and New York. Austin came sixth on the same list. Two other Texas cities, Frisco and Allen, were ranked among the 10 lowest crime rates on lists evaluating cities with smaller populations.
Houston was ranked 10th on the list of cities with the highest crime rate.
In a press release, El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said, “This is a great accomplishment for all who live, work and play in El Paso, Texas.”
The top ranking has been a refrain of El Paso leaders, who have rejected other politicians' efforts to paint the border as a violent place. Even during the height of the drug in Juarez, when dozens of people were dying each month, El Paso remained among the safest places in the country.
El Paso Mayor John Cook has touted his city's safety and railed against politicians and journalists who warn of spillover violence from Mexico and talk about sending military to the border. Sheriff Richard Wiles, the former police chief told The Texas Tribune in 2010 that El Paso has "always had to deal with issues that are coming across the border to one degree or another, but we certainly have not had a spillover of the level of violence that is occurring over there."