The FBI’s 2019 annual report Crime in the United States has been released, and FBI data reveals the city of Sterling Heights is once again the safest big city (over 100,000 population) in Michigan.
Sterling Heights was ranked safest among these communities in both property crime and violent crime, as well as safest overall.
Sterling Heights recorded lower crime rates in nine of the ten recorded crime categories the FBI tracks compared to 2018. When compared to 2018 numbers: Violent Crimes were down 30% in total. This represents Murder/Non-Negligent Manslaughter which was down 100%, Rape down 40%, Robbery down 10.5% and Aggravated Assault down 29.4%. Property Crime also decreased again this year by 14.5%. This represents Burglary which was down by 34%, Larceny down 11% and Motor Vehicle Theft down 21%. Sterling Heights is already one of the safest cities in the United States with populations over 100,000. The 2019 FBI crime statistics show a continued trend in making Sterling Heights even safer.
“The Sterling Heights Police Department has always had a first-class reputation for hard work and public service, and it’s amazing that we can see that reinforced by actual statistics,” said Sterling Heights Mayor Michael C. Taylor. “Safety is one of our core values here in Sterling Heights. It’s one of the main reasons why families choose to locate where they do, and there is no doubt the safety of our community continues to have a significant positive impact on our property values.”
According to the FBI, their 2019 Crime in the United States annual report is a statistical compilation of offense, arrest, and police employee data reported by law enforcement agencies voluntarily participating in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. The UCR Program collects information on crimes reported by law enforcement agencies regarding violent crimes and property crimes.
“We are fortunate our residents are so actively engaged in keeping our City among the safest in the nation,” said Police Chief Dale Dwojakowski. “It truly is a collaborative effort between the remarkable, relentless men and women of the Sterling Heights Police Department and our residents, business representatives and City officials who all embrace the spirit of continuous improvement. I couldn’t be any prouder of our department and community.”
Several factors have helped decrease crime in Sterling Heights:
- Passage of the Safe Streets millage renewal in 2019 allowed the City to maintain full staffing of our police department. In addition, the department applied for and received grant funds allowing for the purchase of additional law enforcement equipment such as two Segway police vehicles for park patrol, including a trailer hitch used to transport the segways to various special event locations throughout the City.
- In 2019, Sterling Heights added another K-9 to our police department, bringing our K-9 unit back to a total of four officers for the first time since the 1970s. This has resulted in an increase in drug forfeiture funds and greater deployments in tracking suspects, finding lost children and elderly residents with memory issues, locating illegal drugs and performing drug sweeps at local schools.
- The City’s Community Outreach and Engagement (CORE) program has also helped reduce crime. CORE officers are assigned an area of the city to serve as that area’s advocate and neighborhood expert, making meaningful relationships within their designated area. They handle complex, non-emergency issues between residents, assist businesses with safety concerns and conduct public programs like walk with a cop, touch-a-truck, National Night Out and security and safety presentations.
- The City’s investment in parks and recreation has also played a role in reducing crime. According to a team of researchers at Clemson and North Carolina State universities, well-kept community green spaces encourage more people to spend time outside in those spaces, leading to a greater degree of informal surveillance of the area and deterring crime.