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Ranking Places San Ramon As Safest City In California

SAN RAMON (CBS SF) -- If you're looking for a safe place to raise your child, you might consider the East Bay city of San Ramon, which was recently ranked safest in California.

The safety ranking -- from a home security website called SafeWise -- puts San Ramon at the top of the state and seventh in the country based on low overall crime rates and high graduation rates.

Many people move there specifically to join the award-winning San Ramon Valley Unified School District that now has the second largest PTA membership in California.

"The school district is really the heart of this community," said district spokesperson Elizabeth Grasswich.  "We're very proud of that and very fortunate to have the support that we do."

And that support continues after school as well.  A safe, clean place to play is important. For a relatively small city, San Ramon has 63 parks, all of them neat and well maintained.  Mayor Bill Clarkson says that's not an accident.

"When parents think about 'Where am I going to settle? Where am I going to raise my children?' -- certain attributes rise to the top," said Clarkson. "A place that's safe for their children, a place for education, a place they can recreate."

At the top of that list is a commitment to safety that goes beyond the crime statistics.  Once again, it is the citizens taking responsibility for their community.  That's why, on the police department's honor wall, there is a plaque awarding the residents of San Ramon the department's badge Number One.

"I say this with complete honesty: I don't know of another community that puts as many resources and time and effort into their kids as the City of San Ramon does," said Police Chief Craig Stevens

Back at the park, parents say the commitment to kids tends to have a snowball effect.

"It just rubs off," said Letha Saldanha, who was playing with her granddaughter Cassidy. "As new people move in and they see the atmosphere and the ambiance. It rubs off on other people and it kind of builds on its own."

"Maybe that's what makes the difference," said Amy Lundberg as she pushed her daughter Emily on a swing. "It's just having a nice community of people looking out for your kids so you're not…so you're not so fearful."

Only two other Bay Area cities made the SafeWise list. Pleasanton was ranked 30th in the nation and Sunnyvale came in at 47th.

San Ramon is frequently recognized in lifestyle rankings. Last September, it was named the best place in the Bay Area to raise a family, and in December it was named California's best place to find a job.

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