The city, frankly, isn't entirely safe. If I was, say, ten blocks to the northwest of my current location, I'd be scared. However, the university (located on the Genesee River) is pouring money in to try and gentrify the far side of the river. Things are changing here, and the giant Sheraton going up across the street is proof.
However, the statistics:
-1.26 violent crimes per hundred people, American national average is 0.54 (2006)
-Murder rate is 39 times higher per capita than Newfoundland
Enough said, right? It's not good. That being said, I don't feel unsafe or anything. The city is very much split along certain lines, the Genesee River definitely being one. It's unfortunate.