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Cape Girardeau, Mo. (KSDK) - Southeast Missouri State University has been ranked as the safest public four-year university in Missouri according to StateUniversity.com.

This is the third consecutive year that SMSU has received the top safety ranking.

University officials attribute the honor to the university's efforts over the past several years to put safety measures in place on campus.

"The administration had the forethought many years ago to put the technology in place that we needed. This (ranking) did not happen by accident. We are very aggressive on campus safety, and the Department of Public Safety is constantly visible," said Doug Richards, director of the Department of Public Safety.

The safest schools rankings are based on incidents of campus crime as reported by campus safety officials.