(credit: CBS 11 News)

(credit: CBS 11 News)

PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – Business Insider recently ranked the safest cities in America, and three North Texas locations made the Top 20 list, with Plano reaching third in the July 25 article. The ranking looked at cities with a population over 200,000 people, and used the number of violent crimes in 2012 — murder, rape, robbery — as a measure of safety.

The article was based on data provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The murder rate in Plano was said to be 92 percent below the national average. This was actually the best murder rate of all cities included on the Business Insider list. But it was only good enough for third place when combined with a rape rate at 28 percent below average and a robbery rate at 65 percent below average.

Still, the city is extremely proud of its latest achievement. “We enjoy a high quality of life as a result of the diligent efforts of our employees in cooperation with our citizens,” stated Chief Gregory Rushin with the Plano Police Department. “A strong police-community partnership is the key to maintaining a safe city. We try to engage every segment of our community through a variety of programs to work together with their police department.”

Plano is familiar with this kind of honor. The city was ranked as the safest in America by Forbes in both 2009 and 2010. Those previous lists took a number of other criminal offenses into account including motor vehicle theft and traffic fatalities.

Irving and Garland were also on the Business Insider list of safe cities, ranking at No. 5 and No. 13, respectively. And they were not the only Texas cities to make the grade. El Paso was listed at No. 14 and Laredo edged onto the list at No. 19 overall.

The top spot on the list, however, was not a Texas locale. That honor went to Irvine, California, with a murder rate at 80 percent below the national average, a rape rate at 86 percent below average, and a robbery rate at 86 percent below average. Irvine has now topped Business Insider’s list for nine consecutive years.

The article also pointed out a geographical trend, noting that nine of the 20 safest cities were located in the southwest, and six more found in California. That poses a sharp comparison to Business Insider’s opposing list of the most dangerous cities in America, where there were no southwestern cities and only two located in California.

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