For the second year in a row, Sterling Heights was ranked the safest big city in Michigan, according to an annual FBI report. The city was ranked safest area, with a population of over 100,000, in both property crime and violent crime, as well as safest overall for the year 2019.
Sterling Heights recorded lower crime rates than the previous year in nine of the 10 recorded crime categories the FBI tracks. According to the report
, when compared to 2018, violent crime was down 30% in total (from 240 incidents to 167), robbery was down 10.5% (19 incidents to 17) and property crime also decreased by 14.5% (dropping to 1,140 incidents). Arson increased from two incidents in 2018 to seven in 2019.
“Safety is one of our core values here in Sterling Heights,” said Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor. "It’s one of the main reasons why families choose to locate where they do, and there is no doubt the safety of our community continues to have a significant positive impact on our property values.”
City officials attribute the ranking to the work of the police department, the introduction of another K-9 officer, and the city's investment in park and recreation. The city’s community outreach and engagement (CORE) program also received recognition, a program that sees officers are assigned an area of the city to serve as that area’s advocate and neighborhood expert. They handle complex, non-emergency issues between residents, assist businesses with safety concerns and conduct public programs like walk with a cop, touch-a-truck, and safety presentations.
“We are fortunate our residents are so actively engaged in keeping our city among the safest in the nation,” said Police Chief Dale Dwojakowski. “It truly is a collaborative effort between the remarkable, relentless men and women of the Sterling Heights Police Department and our residents, business representatives, and city officials who all embrace the spirit of continuous improvement."
"I couldn’t be any prouder of our department and community.”