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Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2007 9:06 pm | Updated: 6:39 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

While Mesa and Tempe have been eager for the public to take note of this year’s drop in crime reports, Gilbert has been quietly basking in the knowledge that its residents already are among the safest in Arizona.

CQ Press confirmed Gilbert’s status earlier this week when it released its latest annual comparison of crime in America’s major cities. The book looks not only at uniform crime rates as compiled by the FBI, but also considers the status of local courts, juvenile justice, how often police solve reported crimes, and law enforcement expenditures, to create a “crime score” for some 378 municipalities.

Gilbert came in as the 36th safest city; only Surprise was higher among Arizona communities. Scottsdale barely cracked the top 100 cities with Chandler not too far behind.

Such comparisons are far from an exact science. But the results of CQ Press matches conclusions offered by other independent observers. That means Gilbert must be a pretty safe urban area to live, which makes for excellent material in real estate brochures and economic development marketing.

Relatively low crime is a testament to a commitment of Gilbert’s staff management, elected officials and the community at large to remember the primary purpose of government: protecting the safety of our lives and property so we have the freedom to manage our own economic and social needs.

Another title held by Gilbert in the past couple of years — one of the nation’s fastest growing cities — could overwhelm crime-fighting resources if city officials and active residents fail to stay on top of this issue.

But for now, Gilbert can take delight in the likelihood that its neighbors must envy its success in convincing those who study crime patterns that this corner of the East Valley is a haven for safety.

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