Megan, "safe" is a very difficult term to quantify. From my law enforcement background - previous posts have mentioned contacting Palo Alto PD - great advice. I'd actually go there, and talk with the "desk officer" on a personal side, versus calling. Most agencies also provide their crime stats on their websites (google PAPD). The FBI also has each city broken down with crime stats (called Part 1 crimes) I also agree with the HUD post. Do your due diligence - it's really easy.