North Charleston, once dubbed one of America’s most dangerous cities, didn’t even make the top 100 in the latest rankings of bad news burgs, an improvement officials attribute to a concerted effort to drive down violent crime.

North Charleston came in at No. 125 on the most dangerous list in 2012, according to the most recent report issued by Washington-based CQ Press. That’s a big improvement over 2006, when North Charleston occupied the No. 7 spot.

In recent years, North Charleston has made a concerted effort to tune up its crime-fighting tactics. Police have beefed up crime analysis, expanded community policing, embedded officers in troubled neighborhoods and worked to build relationships with the residents they serve.

Charleston also fared well on this year’s list, dropping to No. 220 out of 432 cities ranked in the report. CQ Press ranks the cities based on FBI statistics.

Nearby Myrtle Beach, however, took a bit of a spanking in the report, coming in at an unflattering No. 7 on the list of most dangerous metropolitan areas.

The Charleston-North Charleston metro area doesn’t appear in that round-up, apparently due to insufficient info from the FBI.

The annual rankings have drawn repeated criticism in law enforcement circles for what some consider to be faulty methodology. The rankings are based on per-capita rates for homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and auto theft.

Camden, N.J., leads the pack of most dangerous cities in the report, while the Detroit metro area took the top bad spot in that ranking. The safest city was Fishers, Ind., while the safest metro area was Logan, Utah, according to the CQ Press report.