Troy ranks seventh on list of safest cities in Michigan

By: Andy Kozlowski | Troy Times | Published December 22, 2020

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TROY — The city of Troy is among the top 10 safest cities in the state, according to one company’s analysis of publicly available data provided by the Michigan State Police and the U.S. Census Bureau for 2019, the most recent year for which crime data is available.

The group that created the list is Munetrix, based in Auburn Hills. Munetrix bills itself as “among the nation’s largest aggregators of municipal and school district data,” helping cities and school districts manage their data for reliable budgets, financial projections, academic achievement metrics and more.

The state of Michigan has more than 1,850 units of government, including 83 counties, 1,240 townships, 278 cities and 255 villages. Munetrix checked an annual crime statistics report released by the Michigan State Police in 2019 and found more than 657,100 crimes committed across the entire state that year. Munetrix then cross-referenced this with the population data made available by the U.S. Census Bureau the same year. There were 9.99 million residents in Michigan in 2019, so the crimes averaged out to 65.7 total crimes (offenses) per thousand people. The report notes that these figures include everything from murder, rape and assault to white collar crimes, minors in possession and petty theft.

For its list of safest cities, Munetrix looked at Michigan communities with populations exceeding 50,000, and then considered the total crimes there relative to the population. The top 10 safest cities — starting with the safest — are Rochester Hills, Farmington Hills, Sterling Heights, Novi, Royal Oak, Ann Arbor, Troy, Livonia, St. Clair Shores and Dearborn Heights.

With its population of more than 83,100, and its crime rate of 50 crimes per thousand persons, Troy ranked the seventh safest city in Michigan.

“As we analyzed the data, we discovered an interesting and encouraging trend at the macro level, also represented fairly consistently from city to city,” Bob Kittle, the president of Munetrix, said in a statement. “If you look at the three-year trend data dating back to 2017, the data reveals a trending decrease in total crimes overall. Communities statewide appear to have been getting safer, in terms of the data we have available, which is a pleasant byproduct of this study.

“Local city governments and public safety professionals in our state should be proud of what the data suggest,” his statement continued, “and take heart that their hard work and efforts toward safer communities appear to be paying off.”

Troy Police Sgt. Meghan Broderick Lehman said the report is “great news” for the city.

“We are proud of this designation. Frankly, however, it confirms what we already knew — Troy is a very safe place to live and visit. Our officers work hard every day, in conjunction with the community, to keep this community safe,” Lehman said in an email.

“It’s important that community members note the methodology used in this study and others,” she continued. “Troy would have placed higher on this list if property crimes were not considered. As Troy is a regional shopping destination and home to a daytime population of over 200,000, our property crimes are higher than communities that don’t have those assets. Property crimes in neighborhoods are rare. Also, it’s very important to note that our crimes against persons are very low. These are violent crimes such as assaults and robberies, and these crimes are quite rare in Troy. These crimes have a significant impact on quality of life, and we are glad to confirm that violent crime is low in Troy.”

She noted that four recent shootings in Troy are the exception, not the rule.

“These crimes are notable and newsworthy because Troy is and has been relatively free from violent crime. We are looking at the stats now and violent crime is actually down 22% this year. Weapons offenses are up 20%, going from 25 to 30 offenses. This seems to reflect a national trend that has been happening over the last several months, but it may bring Troy residents some comfort to know the actual number of offenses is quite low considering the population and does not appear to be representative of a significant trend,” Lehman said.

Troy Police Chief Frank Nastasi said he’s proud of the men and women of the Troy Police Department.

“The work they do on the front lines to keep Troy safe contributes to the high quality of life in Troy,” Nastasi said in an email. “I am also grateful for the community members that continue to support our hardworking officers, enabling them to do the work to keep our community a safe place for all.”

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