Hesperia is safer than the average American city, and getting safer by the year, according to FBI statistics.


The city is ranked 280 out of 393 cities with a population of 75,000 or more (minus a few, like Chicago, which do not report rape statistics in a standardized way). The listing appears in City Crime Rankings 2009-2010 from CQ Press.


The ranking was created by combining statistics involving murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and motor vehicle theft, was based on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's "Crime in the United States 2008" report.


Hesperia receives a negative 22.21 score, putting it neck and neck with #281, Pasadena, which has a score of 23.51. And it's significantly safer than #206 Fontana, #194 Ontario, #188 Victorville, #174 Riverside, #154 Los Angeles and #46 San Bernardino, all of which had above-average rates of serious crime in 2008. Rancho Cucamonga was one of the nation's safest cities, and was ranked #344 out of 393.


Hesperia's ranking has improved, as well: Last year, the city was ranked #232 out of 385 cities.


The most dangerous city in America is Camden, N.J., while the safest is Colonie, N.Y. In California, the most dangerous city is #3 Oakland, while the safest is #391 Mission Viejo. Two cities straddle the national average: #234 Plantation, Fla., and #235 Lawrence, Kan.


San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department Captain Lance Clark, the head of the Hesperia station, attributes the increasingly good crime statistics, in part, to a reorganization of the station that improved call response and improved traffic enforcement, enhanced technology to track and link crimes, evidence and suspects, and an ongoing commitment from the city to provide adequate staffing and equipment.


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com. Follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/HesperiaStar.