Farmington Hills police report lowest crime rates in 45-year city history

By: Alex Szwarc | Farmington Press | Published May 8, 2019

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FARMINGTON HILLS — Farmington Hills continues to grow safer for its residents each year, according to statistics presented by Police Chief Charles Nebus in the department’s 2018 annual report.

The city had a historic decrease of 16% in part “A” crimes over the last year, which represents the overall smallest number of reported offenses in Farmington Hills history.

Not only was the Police Department able to see a drop in part “A” crimes, which consist of 23 of the most serious crimes tracked — including murder, robbery, burglary, larceny, arson and sexual assault — but its part “B” and “C” crime statistics also saw decreases, of 23% and 12%, respectively.

The one, singular crime that saw an increase of reports last year, of 18%, from 27 incidents reported in 2017 to 33 in 2018, was sexual assault crimes. Although there was an uptick in this area, Nebus explained that those incidents are often difficult to control, and the majority of the time they happen between people who know each other or are related.

“Very seldom do we have a sexual assault involving strangers,” he said.

The department also became one of only 10 police departments in the state to be accredited by the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police.

Nebus credited all of this to the hard work and dedication put in by every staff member in the organization, from the patrol officers to those working behind the scenes.

“I’m very proud of the men and women who work here, and all these accomplishments are credited to them,” said Nebus. “Managers guide and steer, and may help to set the tone or the culture, but the folks who are carrying out the work — that’s the reason for the accomplishments we’re seeing.”

Nebus also credited the department’s proactive approach to community policing and recruitment with 21st-century standards as core reasons for the success.

“Anything we can do to continue to strengthen those relationships between the community, the Police Department and the city officials makes for a better partnership, and that’s a key to our success,” said Nebus, who also explained that having friendly officers who are well-respected by the residents encourages residents to feel comfortable calling the police and reporting crimes or asking for help.

“Positive relations are a necessary ingredient,” he said.

The department’s success starts by having officers come into work each day ready to do the job as well as they possibly can, said Assistant Chief of Police Jeff King, whether that’s helping an elderly person with water leaking in their basement, responding to serious crimes or making routine traffic stops.

“Everything we do with the intent of doing it to the best of our ability and maintaining a strong relationship with our community,” King said, “and it pays off dividends every day and every year.”

With crime rates continuing to drop, Nebus said he wonders how they’re going to top the previous year. When looking at preliminary data for 2019, he said, without wanting to jinx it, that “things in 2019 are looking very good too.”

“As a chief I sometimes think to myself, ‘We can’t panic, because sometimes it’s difficult,’” he said. “We shoot for it, we strive for it, we hope for it, but is it realistically attainable that every year we’re going to be breaking records? I’m not sure, but we’re going to do it as long as we can.”

To read the full report and see more details on the Police Department’s crime statistics, as well as community policing efforts, visit www.fhgov.com/Government/Departments-Divisions/Police/Annual-Report.aspx.

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