EL PASO, Texas -

For the fourth year in a row El Paso has the lowest crime rate of American cities with more than half a million people.

CQ Press bestowed the honor on El Paso.

New York City and Austin are second and third on the list.

"El Pasoans take great pride that our community is not only a great place to raise families, but for four years in a row now, it is the safest place to do so," El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser said. "Today's recognition as the Safest City in America is a tremendous recognition for our community.  I want to recognize and thank the law enforcement community for their dedication to ensuring El Paso is the safest place to live."

The El Paso Police Department says the rankings defy longstanding theories of how crime is brought on by low socioeconomic factors.

That's because of all the cities on the list El Paso has the highest poverty level and the lowest median income.

El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen called the honor "truly amazing" and said it shows the "cooperation between the residents of El Paso and their police department."

"I am extremely proud of the community and the El Paso Police Department and city organization," said El Paso City Manager Joyce Wilson. "This designation once again reflects the caliber of the citizens who live here, along with the hard work and dedication of the EPPD, as well as the ongoing commitment of the City Council to ensure a good quality of life by promoting and providing an array of services to support law enforcement efforts.   It has been a privilege to work with the talented leadership and officers of the EPPD."