PHOENIX -- The city of Mesa is an extremely safe place to live, according to a report by the FBI.
Mesa was the third-safest city in America last year, based on major crime statistics. The report looked at Part 1 crimes, which include aggravated assaults and thefts, in cities across the country with a population of 400,000 or more.
In 2012 there were 15,945 Part 1 crimes in Mesa, down from the 16,952 the previous year. The East Valley city also ranked the fourth-lowest in the nation for property crimes.
Mesa Police Chief Frank Milstead credited the results to changes he made when he took over the department in 2010. That's when he made community outreach a top priority.
"It's really about getting police officers out of their cars, into the neighborhoods and connecting with the citizens," Milstead said.
He also credited residents for reporting crimes and for providing witness accounts.
"Without the public's support and trust in the department we would not be nearly as effective," he said.
Milstead said overall crime for 2013 is expected to be down 9 percent from last year.