Sterling Heights ranks well in safety, report says

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published April 10, 2015

A publisher that specializes in politics and government recently ranked Sterling Heights favorably among similar Michigan and American cities when it comes to keeping crime in check, city officials said.

At an April 7 City Council meeting, City Manager Mark Vanderpool said CQ Press recently released its City Crime Rankings 2015 results. As part of the findings, Sterling Heights ranked in the top 13 percent, or 58th place, out of 442 communities nationwide with populations greater than 75,000, he said.

Considering only major population centers within Michigan, the city scored well among its peers, according to Vanderpool. Among Michigan communities with more than 75,000 residents, Sterling Heights reportedly ranked fourth out of 10 listed communities — behind Troy, Canton Township and Farmington Hills — but ahead of Clinton Township and Warren.

“So we’re within a good group of top contenders there,” Vanderpool said.

When narrowing the field down to Michigan cities with populations higher than 100,000, Sterling Heights was deemed the safest city in that category, topping second-place Ann Arbor and third-place Grand Rapids, he said.

“So once again, we have fared very well in our safe city rankings,” he said.

CQ Press scored the cities by using 2014 crime statistics compiled by the FBI, which included violent and property crimes ranging from murder and rape to burglaries and larcenies.

Vanderpool credited a few factors for the city’s success, such as a strong partnership between the city and its residents and businesses.

He also highlighted support from the City Council and efforts like the successful 2013 millage increase, also known as the Safe Streets Proposal. He said the proposal made it possible to bring in around 70 new police officers and firefighters over an approximately three-year period as other public safety staff is expected to retire.

He also thanked the Sterling Heights Police Department for its hard work.

“I think it’s certainly a tribute to the great men and women in the Police Department who work, day in and day out, very hard,” Vanderpool said. “They’re very passionate about their jobs, and they’re dedicated to making sure that we remain a safe city.”

In a statement, Police Chief Michael Reese paid tribute to trained staff, cutting-edge equipment, and relationships with businesses, schools and residents.

“We appreciate the continued cooperation of Sterling Heights residents and neighborhood watch groups to report suspicious activity to our department,” he said. “We are a strong community because our citizens care.”

Sterling Heights Community Relations Director Bridget Doyle said the CQ Press rankings also positively affect the city’s reputation.

“I think it just highlights that the city of Sterling Heights is a safe place to raise a family, to purchase a home, to live,” she said. “We’re really proud of these rankings. It says a lot about our community, the Police Department and services in general.”

Learn more about Sterling Heights by visiting www.sterling-heights.net or by calling (586) 446-2489.