NAPERVILLE, Ill. (STMW) — A recent report found that Naperville was the fourth safest mid-sized city in the United States.

The online real estate brokerage Movoto placed Naperville fourth and Aurora eighth overall in its list of the 10 safest mid-sized U.S. communities. Movoto said the rankings were based on FBI crime data compiled from 2013 that included incidents such as burglary, theft, vehicle theft, murder, rape, robbery and assault.

Even with three murders in Naperville in 2012 and a pair of shooting deaths in Aurora last week, both cities ranked in the top eight.

The two cities were the only Midwest communities to show up on the list and, along with Cary, N.C., were the only three of the top-ranked 10 that are not in California.

The rankings also found Naperville second only to Cary in the chances of being hit by violent crime, at one in 1,819.

Naperville Police Chief Bob Marshall asserted that recent shifts made within his department continue to keep the city’s residents safer than most. The “new organizational model” has meant such adjustments as reassigning some employees to other duties and placing additional officers in the city’s downtown, where late-night dustups and thefts had been on the rise.

Mayor A. George Pradel wasn’t shocked by the newest distinction placed on his city, either.

“It’s a big deal for Naperville,” the city’s longtime top elected official said this week. “Our police are wonderful, but it’s the whole attitude of our city that makes us so safe, because everybody cares about each other.”

As a former Naperville police officer, he also cited the high-tech interoperable emergency radio system the city shares with Aurora, and credited the community’s vibrant Neighborhood Watch networks and its culture of encouraging mutual support among Naperville’s safety features.

“With the excellent police department that we have, we also credit our citizens for their attentiveness to safety,” he said. “You can have the best police in the nation, but if your people aren’t behind it, you’re not safe. … The residents of our town participate very heavily.”

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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