Troy ranked safest city in the state

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published January 11, 2012

 Citizens on Patrol volunteer John Gavel checks out a neighborhood map of Troy during the July 6 training session.

Citizens on Patrol volunteer John Gavel checks out a neighborhood map of Troy during the July 6 training session.

File photo by Donna Agusti


Once again, Troy earned the spot as the safest city in Michigan based on an independent ranking of all cities across the country.

Overall, Troy ranked as the 19th safest city in the country among cities with populations greater than 75,000 based on 2010 crime statistics. This places Troy as the safest city in the state.

Last year, Troy ranked as the 13th safest city and also placed at the top of the list of safest cities in Michigan.

Overall, neighboring Sterling Heights ranked 36th on the list, based on 2010 statistics.

In contrast, the Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn area had the highest crime ranking for metropolitan areas. Flint ranked as the most dangerous city of those with populations from 100,000 to 499,000. Also, Flint topped the list with the highest rate of aggravated assaults and was second in the nation for murder and violent crimes.

CQ Press, a division of Congressional Quarterly, publishes City Crime Rankings: Crime in Metropolitan America. The publication ranks cities based on six crime categories: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft and total crime figures as reported to the FBI for 2010.

According to FBI reports, incidents of rape in Troy dropped by nearly half from 2009, when there were 17 reported, to nine reported rapes in 2010. Assaults dropped from 49 in 2009 to 40 in 2010, and robberies dropped from 13 in 2009 to nine in 2010.

There was one murder in the city in 2010, none in 2009 and two in 2008.

Addressing the number of rapes, Troy Police Capt. Gerry Scherlinck said that while any circumstance in which such an act occurs is unacceptable, the majority of cases in Troy are not the “stranger type,” in which the woman does not know the assailant.

He noted that incidents of violent crime in Troy are low, and property crime numbers have stayed steady. Given Troy’s proximity to a major city with a higher crime rate, “to maintain a positive record is a huge accomplishment in this community,” he said.

Troy Police Chief Gary Mayer attributed the ranking to dedicated police officers “who want to do a good job and (are) willing to be partners with the community.”

He credited volunteers, Citizens on Patrol, Troy Youth Assistance, Boys & Girls Club of Troy and the Troy Community Coalition for their support.

Mayer said that while the number of sworn police officers is down to 97 from 137 due to budget constraints, the department is continuing to deliver a high level of service.

“I think most citizens have not seen a decrease in the service we deliver,” he said. “We may not provide as many different services as before, but we do not accept mediocrity.”

Troy City Manager John Szerlag said that the community has consistently identified public safety as a priority, and the challenge has been to maintain the record of excellence in the face of shrinking resources. He added that if the city could accomplish that, he’s confident Troy will remain a premier place to live and do business.