ROCHESTER HILLS (WWJ) – According to a recent report, Rochester Hills is the safest urbanized area in the entire state of Michigan.

Michigan-based data aggregator Munetrix on Friday released its “Safest Cities” list, taking a look at communities in the state with a population over 50,000. Unlike most studies, the report used total crime as the metric, according to Bob Kittle, president of Munetrix and lead analyst for this report.

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“Usually crime statistics are discussed in the context of Part 1 crimes: murders and rapes,” Kittle said in a statement. “Munetrix wanted to see what all crime statistics reflected when measured on a per-capita basis.”

In Michigan, there are 1,856 local units of government: 83 counties, 1,240 townships, 278 cities and 255 villages. All in, 418,475 total crimes took place across the state in 2014, according to data released in July 2015 by the Michigan State Police in its annual crime statistics report. With 9.91 million residents in Michigan in 2014, the per-capita total crime rate was 4.2%, meaning approximately 4 people out of every 100 were touched by some type of crime.

For its analysis, Munetrix looked at total crime in 2014, the most recent full year data was available from the Michigan State Police. The company compared the data against 2013 and 2012 to look for trends, but found the list of communities with the lowest crime rates was consistent.

Total crime covers everything from murders, rapes and assaults, to white collar crimes, minors in possession and petty thefts. Total crime places crimes into four categories: crimes against people, crimes against property, crimes against society and other crimes.

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The Munetrix report focused on 15 local governments with more than 50,000 residents who were in the top 15 consistently over the three-year period studied. In some cases, a municipality went up or dipped down one or two spots in a particular year, but the 15 municipalities were the same for the three-year period. Overall, the “safest” community on the Munetrix list, using total crimes per capita for 2014, is the City of Rochester Hills.

“Safest Cities” in Michigan:

  1. Rochester Hills
  2. Macomb Township
  3. West Bloomfield Township
  4. Shelby Township
  5. Waterford Township
  6. Sterling Heights
  7. Novi
  8. St. Clair Shores
  9. Troy
  10. Farmington Hills
  11. Ann Arbor
  12. Royal Oak
  13. Livonia
  14. Canton Township
  15. Clinton Township

Although it was not a factor considered in the study, Kittle noted that the top two cities, Rochester Hills and Macomb Township, contract with the county sheriff’s department for their police protection.

“These two also have the lowest police cost on a per-capita basis, which we found interesting,” Kittle said. “But a local government’s job is to deliver the best possible services at the lowest possible cost. Rochester Hills and Macomb Township appear to live by this mantra, at least in the area of policing.”

(credit: Munetrix)

(credit: Munetrix)

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