Annual report shows crime remains low in Shores

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published April 27, 2016

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GROSSE POINTE SHORES — The latest annual crime report shows that Grosse Pointe Shores continues to be one of the safest places to live anywhere.

Although larcenies might be up from 2014, there were only two larcenies reported in 2014 compared to 12 in 2015, and the increase seems to be due, in part, to a couple of housecleaning services in which employees removed valuables from the homes of their clients, Public Safety Director John Schulte said. In another larceny, a suspect stole items from a shed, but Schulte noted that police not only caught the suspect, but also recovered the stolen property.

In almost every other Part I crime category — the more serious offenses, as determined by the FBI — the Shores recorded no incidents in 2015, including no murders, arsons, burglaries, forcible rapes or robberies. The only other Part I crimes that occurred last year, according to the report, are aggravated assaults, of which there were three, for a total of 15 Part I offenses during the year. There were nine Part I crimes in 2011, 20 in 2012, 10 in 2013 and five in 2014.

“This marks the third (consecutive) year we have not had an auto theft,” Schulte said of another Part I category crime.

Part II crimes, which include vandalism and drunken driving offenses, were down slightly from 2014. There were 133 total Part II crimes last year, as compared to 149 in 2014. There were 134 Part II crimes in 2013, 96 in 2012 and 101 in 2011, according to the report. More than half of last year’s Part II offenses were arrests for operating while intoxicated, with 71. Drivers under the influence of narcotics and other narcotic offenses accounted for another 19 Part II crimes last year. Schulte noted that both of these categories are officer-initiated, meaning that the higher number can be attributed to strong policing, not more problems in the community.

With only about 3,000 residents, the Shores isn’t included in national averages, but Schulte said the city has the lowest crime rate overall in the state and is also the lowest nationwide for communities with populations around 3,000.

Providing emergency medical services remains one of the major roles of the department, which Schulte said has an average response time of about 3.5 minutes for all calls for service — better than half the national benchmark average of eight minutes. He said the department takes “great pride” in its quick response to medical emergencies, especially since in these incidents, every minute is very precious. Of the department’s 18 sworn officers, 13 are licensed paramedics certified in advanced cardiac life support. The rest of the officers are basic emergency medical technicians, the report states.

Mayor Ted Kedzierski praised the department for its work.

“We’re just so grateful we have such a top-drawer (public safety) department,” he said. “That’s why people move here. That’s why people live here. We have premier services.”

City Councilwoman Tina Ellis, who formerly worked as a public safety clerk but left that position since taking office, echoed the mayor’s comments.

“The Public Safety Department is near and dear to my heart,” she said. “I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. They care about the city and the residents so much. It’s their life’s work to make the residents safe.”

Other officials also praised the department for its efforts in various areas.

“I really appreciate the enforcement of the” no parking from 2 to 5 a.m., City Councilman Dr. Alexander Ajlouni said. 

Schulte said this rule used to be “sporadically enforced,” but now it’s routine. Residents who need to park on the street overnight can get special permission to do so, and the department maintains a list of vehicles allowed to be parked on certain streets, he said. The no parking overnight law helps police monitor possible unwanted visitors in the community.

“It really assists us in knowing which cars belong,” Schulte explained.

He said residents also play a key role in keeping the city safe.

“While we are very proud of these numbers … we strongly encourage our residents to notify our dispatch center immediately if they notice suspicious activity in their neighborhood,” Schulte said.

To report unusual activity in the Shores, residents can call the Public Safety Department at (313) 881-5500; there is an automated option for the dispatch center. To read the entire annual report, look under the Public Safety tab on the city’s website at www.gpshoresmi.gov.

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