Detroit Tops List of Regional Crime Rates

The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently released data on known criminal offenses for the year 2015. For this post, these criminal offenses have been turned into rates per 10,000 residents to accurately show how reported crimes differ between the some of the most well known cities in each county in Southeastern Michigan.

The cities featured in this post are

  • Ann Arbor: Washtenaw County
  • Detroit: Wayne County
  • Howell: Livingston County
  • Monroe: Monroe County
  • Pontiac: Oakland County
  • Port Huron: St. Clair County
  • Warren: Macomb County

Of the nine crimes featured, Detroit had the highest rate of the seven featured cities for all but one. Conversely, of the nine featured crimes, Howell had the lowest rates for six of them.

Overall, property crimes had the overall highest rates of the crimes discussed in this post while murder and nonnegligent manslaughter had the lowest. Property crime rates also had the largest difference between the city with the highest rate (Detroit) and the city with the lowest rate (Howell).

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According to the FBI, Detroit had the highest murder rate in 2015 of the seven cities examined in this post. This rate was calculated to be 4.4 per 10,000 residents; this was equivalent to 295 murders for a population of about 673,000. Howell, Monroe and Ann Arbor had zero reported murders while Port Huron had a rate of .7 and Pontiac and Warren had rates of .1

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According to the FBI forcible rape is defined as “the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.  Attempts or assaults to commit rape by force or threat of force are also included; however, statutory rape (without force) and other sex offenses are excluded.”

In 2015, of the cities highlighted in this post, Pontiac had the highest reported rape rate per 10,000 residents at 11.5; this was equivalent 69 reported rapes to law enforcement for a population of about 60,000. Ann Arbor had the lowest rate at 4.9, which was equivalent to 58 total rapes known to law enforcement. Detroit’s forcible rape rate per 10,000 residents was 7.8 in 2015, or 530 total rapes known to law enforcement.

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According to the FBI robbery is defined as “the taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody, or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear.”

Of the featured cities, Detroit had the highest robbery rate per 10,000 at 51 and Ann Arbor had the second highest at 35. In total, Detroit had 3,457 reported robberies while Ann Arbor had 42. Howell had the lowest rate at 2 with two reported robberies.

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According to the FBI, aggravated assault is defined as “an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury.”

In 2015 Detroit had the highest aggravated assault rate of the cities featured in this post. Detroit’s 2015 rate was about 112.5 per 10,000 residents, and Pontiac had the second highest rate at 90.5. Ann Arbor had the lowest aggravated assault rate of the seven cities featured at 10.8.

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According to the FBI, property crime “includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.  The object of the theft-type offenses is the taking of money or property, but there is no force or threat of force against the victims.”

Detroit had the highest property crime rate of the seven cities featured at 409 per 10,000 residents. The city with the second highest property crime rate was Pontiac at 258 per 10,000. Howell had the lowest rate of the featured cities at 152.7. There was a 257 point difference between Howell and Detroit, making this the largest rate difference of the featured cities.

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According to the FBI burglary is defined as, “the unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or theft.  To classify an offense as a burglary, the use of force to gain entry need not have occurred.”

Similar to the property crime rate standings, Detroit and Pontiac had the highest rates of the featured cities. Detroit’s property crime rate per 10,000 residents in 2015 was 116 while Pontiac’s was 93. Howell again had the lowest rate of the cities at 12.5 with Ann Arbor coming in just above it at 23.1.

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According to the FBI, larceny theft is defined as “the unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession or constructive possession of another.”

Detroit had the highest larceny-theft rates of the featured cities in 2015 at 215.7 and Monroe had the second highest rate at 185. Monroe’s rate was equivalent to 373 reported crimes for a population of 20,074 while Detroit’s rate was equivalent to 14,523 reported crimes for a population of about 673,000. Howell again had the lowest rate at 132.9; this was equivalent to 128 reported crimes for a population about about 9,600.

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According to the FBI, motor vehicle theft is defined as “the theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle.”

The highest motor vehicle theft rate of the featured cities was 77 per 10,000 residents for the city of Detroit. This rate was equivalent to 5,216 motor vehicle thefts for a population about 623,000. The city with the second highest motor vehicle theft rate was Warren with a rate of about 39. In 2015 Warren had 521 reported motor vehicle thefts for a population of about 135,000. Ann Arbor had the lowest motor vehicle theft rate of 6 per 10,000 residents in 2015 of the feature cities.

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According to the FBI, arson is “any willful or malicious burning or attempting to burn, with or without intent to defraud, a dwelling house, public building, motor vehicle or aircraft, personal property of another, etc.”

Ann Arbor had five reported arsons in 2015, giving it the lowest rate at .5, while Detroit had 842 reported arsons for a rate of 12.5. Port Huron had the second highest rate at 5.2 with 12 reported arsons.

Southeastern Michigan’s Firearm Deaths Ruled Suicide Surpass those Ruled Homicide, Accidental

In Detroit, homicides by firearm far outpace suicide, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services 2013 data. Outside Detroit in each of the seven counties in the region, the reverse holds. Suicide by firearm far exceeds homicide by firearm. Accidental deaths by firearm in Southeastern Michigan in 2013 were far lower than either other category. Wayne County, excluding the city of Detroit, had the largest difference between firearm deaths ruled suicide and firearm deaths ruled homicide; there were 50 more firearm deaths ruled homicide. Macomb County had the second largest difference at 42 and Oakland County’s difference was 39.

In Detroit there were 214 more firearm deaths ruled homicide than suicide.

Firearm deaths ruled accidental was the category with the lowest numbers across the region. Wayne County had the highest number of accidental deaths at three while Livingston, Oakland and Washtenaw counties, along with the city of Detroit, had zero.

When looking at the rate of suicide and homicide deaths by firearm per 100,000 residents we see that suicide had a higher rate in all counties but Wayne in 2013. However, when the number of Detroit suicide and homicide deaths are removed from Wayne County it was in line with its peers in that its rate of suicide death by firearm was higher than its rate of homicide by firearm. At the county level, Macomb County had the highest rate of suicide by firearm at 7.6 and Livingston County had the lowest at 2.7. When not including the Wayne County rate of homicide by firearm with Detroit numbers included, Oakland County had the highest rate of homicide by firearm per 100,000 residents in 2013 at 2.5.

Detroit’s rate of homicide by firearm per 100,000 residents was higher than its suicide rate by firearm though in 2013; the rate of homicide by firearm was 13.6 while the suicide rate by firearm was 4.7.





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Southeastern Michigan Firearm Deaths

Rate of Suicide by Forearm

2013 Firearm Homicides

In Detroit, homicides by firearm far outpace suicide, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services 2013 data. Outside Detroit in each of the seven counties in the region, the reverse holds. Suicide by firearm far exceeds homicide by firearm. Accidental deaths by firearm in Southeastern Michigan in 2013 were far lower than either other category. Wayne County, excluding the city of Detroit, had the largest difference between firearm deaths ruled suicide and firearm deaths ruled homicide; there were 50 more firearm deaths ruled homicide. Macomb County had the second largest difference at 42 and Oakland County’s difference was 39.

In Detroit there were 214 more firearm deaths ruled homicide than suicide.

Firearm deaths ruled accidental was the category with the lowest numbers across the region. Wayne County had the highest number of accidental deaths at three while Livingston, Oakland and Washtenaw counties, along with the city of Detroit, had zero.

When looking at the rate of suicide and homicide deaths by firearm per 100,000 residents we see that suicide had a higher rate in all counties but Wayne in 2013. However, when the number of Detroit suicide and homicide deaths are removed from Wayne County it was in line with its peers in that its rate of suicide death by firearm was higher than its rate of homicide by firearm. At the county level, Macomb County had the highest rate of suicide by firearm at 7.6 and Livingston County had the lowest at 2.7. When not including the Wayne County rate of homicide by firearm with Detroit numbers included, Oakland County had the highest rate of homicide by firearm per 100,000 residents in 2013 at 2.5.

Detroit’s rate of homicide by firearm per 100,000 residents was higher than its suicide rate by firearm though in 2013; the rate of homicide by firearm was 13.6 while the suicide rate by firearm was 4.7.

There were four counties with an increase in the percentage of firearm deaths ruled suicide between 2008 and 2013. Monroe County had the largest increase at 1,000 percent, which is representative of an increase of 10 firearm deaths ruled suicide. In 2008 there was one suicide in Monroe County and in 2013 there were 11. The other three counties were Washtenaw, Oakland and Macomb. In terms of sheer numbers, Oakland County had the largest increase of firearm deaths ruled suicide between 2008 and 2013 at 27.

Livingston County had the largest percentage decrease of firearm deaths ruled suicide between 2008 and 2013 at 55 percent. In 2008 in Livingston County there were 11 firearm deaths ruled suicide and in 2013 there were 5.

Change of Gun deaths

Murders across Southeastern Michigan decreasing

Detroit may no longer be grimly perched a top the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s murder-rate list (St. Louis took that spot for 2014), but regionally it still stands out. The city of Detroit has consistently had the highest number of murder/non-negligent manslaughter offenses throughout the region, even prior to 2009. While the six-year span from 2009-2014 the city’s murder offenses number peaked at 348 in 2009, the counties in the region did not experience the same trend. Rather, in the same time frame, the number of murder/non-negligent manslaughter offenses in Oakland County peaked in 2011 at 33, the only year in that time frame in which there were more offenses there than in Wayne County. In 2011 Wayne County’s number dropped to 26 from 35 the previous year; that same year Detroit’s number increased to 291 from 319.

From 2012 to 2013 all the counties in the region, with the exception of Oakland and Monroe counties, experienced an increase in the number of murder/non-negligent manslaughter offenses. Wayne County experienced the largest increase at 9; Oakland County’s number dropped by 10 that year. From 2013 to 2014 Wayne County again experienced a dropped, from 49 to 17. While these numbers do not include Detroit’s murder data, it does follow the same trend of Detroit’s murder numbers dropping to an all time low in 2014. In 2014, according to the Michigan State Police Data, it was Oakland County with the highest number of murders (excluding the city of Detroit) at 18. Although Oakland County had the highest county number in 2014 it has been experiencing a decrease since 2011, when it reached a peak of 33.

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While Detroit may have the highest number of murder offenses in the region, it has experienced a decrease in that, and violent crime overall. In 2014, according to information provided by Police Chief James Craig, Detroit had the fewest number of criminal homicide offenses in the last 47 years. The chart shows just how drastic the number of murder offenses is between Detroit and other regional cities though. With Detroit’s murder offense number at 300 in 2014 the city police agency that reported the second highest murder offenses in the region was Inkster with a number of 6. Warren, which is the second largest city both in the region and the state, had four murder offenses and Sterling Heights, the fourth largest city in the state, had zero.

Throughout the state though Flint had the second highest number of reported murder offenses at 28 and Saginaw came in third with 11.

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According to 2013 data from the Michigan State Police, which is mapped below, there were 306 murders/non-negligent manslaughter occurrences in the city of Detroit in 2013 and 96 everywhere else throughout the region. St. Clair County had the least, with just three in the county in 2013, two of which occurred in Port Huron. Wayne County had the highest number of murders/non-negligent manslaughter offenses in 2013, with 306 occurring in Detroit and 49 occurring elsewhere throughout the county. Even when removing Detroit data from Wayne County’s numbers, Wayne County would have still sat atop the list regionally. Of the 49 murders/non-negligent murder offenses that occurred in Wayne County, outside of Detroit, 15 occurred in Inkster, according to the Michigan State Police.

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Michigan’s CPL application process being modified

Each county in Michigan has a gun board which uses its discretion to determine if Concealed Pistol License (CPL) applicants meet the qualifications to obtain or renew their license. Each gun board has a representative from the County Prosecutor’s Office, the County Sheriff’s Department, and the Michigan State Police (MSP). Until December 1, 2015 it is at the discretion of each county gun board to determine if an applicant is fit to obtain or renew a CPL. While each gun board has the authority to request applicants to appear before it, Macomb County is the only county in the state to require all new applicants to appear before its gun board.

On December 1, 2015, however, this present system will change.

Under legislation signed by Gov. Rick Snyder in March (Public Act 3 of 2015), county gun boards in the state of Michigan will cease to exist after November 30, 2015. Instead, local control will shift to the state. The County Clerk’s Office will still process and distribute licenses, but the MSP will determine whether or not an applicant is fit to hold a CPL. According to the new law, the MSP will verify the requirements an individual must meet in order to obtain a CPL by using the law enforcement information network and the national instant criminal background check system. Should the MSP find that an individual is not qualified to have a CPL, that information will be relayed to the County Clerk’s Office.

According to Gov. Rick Snyder, these changes will allow for a more unified process that will “better support the rights of firearm owners.” Opponents, however, have criticized the change because of the loss of local control over the process. To read more on this issue, click here.

While any person is able to apply for a CPL the state has the right to deny such requests for a variety of reasons. This process, which will be slightly modified beginning Dec. 1, 2015, is intended to protect the public and prevent potential misuse of a firearm.

The map below shows the percent of CPL applications denied by each county in the Southeastern Michigan region in 2013. As shown, Wayne County had the highest denial rate at 4.5 percent while St. Clair County had the lowest denial rate at .8 percent.

To obtain a CPL in the state of Michigan there is a list of requirements that must first be met. These requirements, according to the state of Michigan, include:

  • Being at least 21 years of age;
  • Michigan residency for at least 6 months prior to application;
  • Successful completion of a pistol safety training course;
  • No felony convictions;
  • No convictions of specific misdemeanors (including domestic violence);
  • No personal protection orders filed against the applicant;
  • No diagnosed mental illnesses at the time of the application

For a complete list of requirements, visit this site.

CPL Licenses Denied

As seen above, in 2013, Wayne County had the highest CPL denial rate in the region at 4.5 percent while St. Clair County had the lowest denial rate at .8 percent. While there is no specific reason given for Wayne County’s rate of CPL denials, we do know that in 2012 Wayne County had the highest probation, incarceration, and prison rates in the seven-county region. A person will be denied a CPL if they have a felony or certain misdemeanors.

 

Monroe County had highest rate of heroin deaths in 2012

Drug overdose death rates have risen steadily since 1970, increasing fivefold since 1990. According to the Center for Disease Control, the most common drugs associated with these deaths are heroin, cocaine and opioid painkillers. Of the three, heroin causes the highest number of deaths in Southeast Michigan, according to the Center for Disease Control.

[Footnote: From CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/pdf/poison-issue-brief.pdf ]

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While Wayne County had the highest number of heroin deaths recorded in 2012 (62), when adjusted for population Macomb and Monroe counties had the highest rates (rates were calculated using 2012 population estimates from the American Community Survey).

Heroin is inextricably linked to opioid use, as many heroin users start with abusing opioid prescriptions and then graduate to illicit drugs. In the last 20 years, there has been a tenfold increase in the medical use of opioid painkillers, and with this expansion, there has been an increasing rate of opioid overdoses. In Southeast Michigan, Wayne County had the highest number of opioid deaths and Monroe County had the highest rate.

[From CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6339a1.htm

From CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/pdf/poison-issue-brief.pdf]

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In the mid-2000s, a number of policies were enacted throughout the United States aimed at decreasing opioid misuse. Michigan created a law in 2010 to discourage the practice of “doctor shopping” in order to obtain prescription drugs, while some drugs, like OxyContin, were retooled to deter abuse by making them more difficult to crush. Since the mid-2000s, heroin death rates have increased dramatically.

[From State of Michigan: http://www.nascsa.org/news/midrshopperlaw12.10.pdf

New England Journal of Medicine: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc1204141]

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While the trends for the opiate death rates are sporadic, this is likely due to the low number of deaths recorded during the time period, where a single instance can cause a huge uptick. However, there were visible upward trends in Wayne, Macomb and Monroe counties, with smaller upward trends in Washtenaw and St. Clair counties.

The heroin trends, however, are more pronounced, with a clear increase occurring between 2005 and 2012. One interesting point of note is that although Wayne County had the highest number of heroin deaths its rates generally remained consistent. Macomb, Monroe, and St. Clair counties, on the other hand, start the millennium off with generally low rates that noticeably spiked, and continued to remain high. However, for both heroin and opiate deaths Macomb County decreased from 2011-2012.

From 2000-2012, heroin accounted for 1,764 deaths in the Southeast Michigan area, opiates accounted for 534, and cocaine accounted for 500. Wayne County had the highest number of cocaine related deaths in 2012, with 39. However, when adjusted for population, St. Clair County had the highest rate, followed closely by Wayne, Macomb and Monroe counties.

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One item of note is that across all drugs, Oakland County consistently had the lowest overdose rates. Further research as to why that is may be useful. Polices that have been suggested to reduce overdose deaths include enhanced use of antidotes like naxalone, better access to treatment programs, and Good Samaritan 911 laws (where people reporting overdoses are given immunity), among others, although the effects of these programs have yet to be adequately studied.

Footnotes:

 

Wayne County has highest rate of reported domestic violence incidents in Southeastern Michigan

According to the Michigan State Police, in every county in the region in 2013 the percentage of reported female victims was higher than the percentage of reported male victims. One reason for this is because men and boys are less likely to report domestic violence. Wayne County had the highest percentage of female victims in the region at 75.7%, along with the highest rate of domestic violence incidents.

In Southeastern Michigan, the most common relationship a domestic violence victim had with their abuser was being their was their boyfriend or girlfriend; in some cases the relationship also involved living together. Although this was the most common relationship, it does not discount the victims who experienced abuse from their spouse, child, sibling, parent, grandparent or grandchild. Domestic violence victims tend to have long-term relationships with their abusers.

The information described above and throughout this post is from the annual report the Michigan State Police (MSP) releases, detailing the number of domestic violence incidents by county. According to the MSP, domestic violence is “the occurrence of any of the following acts by a person that is not an act of self-defense: causing or attempting to cause physical or mental harm to a family or household member; placing a family or household member in fear of physical or mental harm; causing or attempting to cause a family or household member to engage in involuntary sexual activity by force, threat of force, or duress; and/or engaging in activity toward a family or household member that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, harassed, or molested.”

According to the Michigan State Police, “the term domestic violence is a pattern of learned behavior in which one person uses physical, sexual, and emotional abuse to control another person. Domestic violence can occur within relationships between spouses or former spouses, dating or formerly dating couples, individuals with a child in common, or residents or former residents of a common household.”

  • Male Victims of Violence. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Retrieved from: http://www.ncadv.org/files/MaleVictims.pdf

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In 2013, Wayne County had the highest rate of domestic violence incidents in the seven county region at 1,349.5 per 100,000 residents. The other two counties in the region where the rate of domestic violence incidents was above 1,000 per 100,000 residents were Monroe (1,117) and St. Clair (1,026.7). Livingston County had the lowest rate of domestic violence incidents in 2013 at 324.9 per 100,000 residents.

The rates were calculated using the number of reported domestic violence incidents, according to the Michigan State Police, multiplying that number by 100,000 and then dividing it by the 2013 county population estimates from the American Community Survey.

In addition to having the highest rate of domestic violence incidents, Wayne County also had the highest number of reported domestic violence incidents in the region in 2013: 26,521. Monroe County had the second highest number of reported incidents with 1,698. Livingston County had the lowest number of reported domestic violence incidents at 588.

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When examining the reported domestic violence incidents by the gender of reported victims, in 2013, Wayne County had the highest percentage of female victims at 75.7 percent, while Monroe County had the highest percentage of male victims at 32.2 percent. Subsequently, this means Wayne County had the lowest percentage of male victims at 24.2 percent and Monroe County had the highest at 32.2 percent. Livingston County had the second highest percentage of male victims at 31.8 percent. Monroe and Livingston counties were the only two in the region where the total percentage of reported female victims was under 90 percent.

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The MSP break down victim-to-offender relationships into 20 categories. Above are the top five most occurring categories of victim-to-offender relationships in 2013 in the region, according to the MSP. For the boyfriend/girlfriend category and ex-boyfriend/girlfriend category this includes couples who currently or did live together and homosexual couples.

Of all the types of victim-to-offender relationships that existed in reported domestic violence incidents in 2013, the most common in all seven counties was a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. In Wayne County, the boyfriend/girlfriend category represented 8,498 of the total 27,297 reported relationships, or 31.1 percent, and the ex category accounted for 4,570 of the total reported relationships, or 16.7 percent. Washtenaw County had the second highest percentage of boyfriend/girlfriend victim-to-offender relationships with 805 of the 2,740, 29.4 percent, representing this category. Monroe County had the lowest percentage of boyfriend/girlfriend victim-to-victim relationships at 21.4 percent; this percentage is reflective of the 374 of the 1,745 reported boyfriend/girlfriend relationships.

When not comparing percentages, Livingston County had the overall lowest number of boyfriend/girlfriend victim-to-offender relationships at 138. There were 603 total reported relationship making the boyfriend/girlfriend victim-to-offender relationships equal 22.9 percent of the total reported relationships.

Other relationships the MSP categorized, aside from the ones represented in the chart above, include: grandparents, grandchildren, parents, step-parents, children and siblings, ex-spouses, and common-law spouses.

Note that the number of victim-offender relationships in the chart above is not equal to the number of victims shown in a prior map ,because there were incidents where there were several offenses, but only one offender, according to the Michigan State Police.

Detroit News deems Detroit as America’s deadliest city for children

According to a study published by the Detroit News, in 2010 the death rate for Detroit children 18 years and under was 120 per 100,000 residents. This was the highest rate in the country; Detroit was also the only city where the rate was over 100 children per 100,000 residents. Through the News’ findings it was determined the city is dangerous for children because of prematurity and violence. To read the study click here. To see our past coverage on infant mortality rates click here.

Detroit’s police force above 3 officers per 1,000 residents

In the following post, we will examine the number of sworn officers-which includes police officers, sheriff’s deputies and public safety officers-per 1,000 residents in the seven county region of Southeastern Michigan. As can be seen in the below maps, there are several municipalities that do not have their own police force. These are either patrolled by the county sheriff’s department or have a public safety department, which is comprised of both police and fire personnel.

The maps and graph below both show that the City of Detroit had one of the highest number of sworn officer per 1,000 residents of municipalities in the region. According to a local law enforcement chief, who serves on the Southeast Michigan Association of Police Chiefs, it is unofficially recommended there should be a minimum of one sworn police officer per 1,000 residents in municipalities.

The above map shows there is less than one sheriff’s deputy per 1,000 residents in every county in Southeastern Michigan. These figures were determined by taking the total number of sheriff’s deputies in each county department and dividing it by the total population of each county; these results were then multiplied by 1,000.

Oakland and St. Clair counties had the highest rates at .56 and .53 per 1,000 residents, respectively.

While no county in the region holds up to the one sworn officer per 1,000 residents standards, it should be noted that many municipalities within each county either have their own police department or pay the sheriff’s department for coverage. The county sheriff’s departments are required to cover areas with no police coverage.

The above two maps show the number of local law enforcement officers per 1,000 residents in 2013. The City of Detroit was one of 104 municipalities (out of 123) in the seven-county region to have more than one officer per 1,000 residents. In 2013 there were about 3.7 officers per 1,000 Detroit residents.

The Lake Angelus Police Department had the highest rate at about 43 officers per 1,000 residents. However, this small lakeside community only had 298 full-time residents with 13 total sworn officers. Aside from this anomaly, Lake Orion had the highest rate in 2013 with a rate of 5 sworn officers per 1,000 residents.

Within the seven county region, areas such as South Rockwood (6.3) and Yale (5.7) had well above the suggested number of officers per 1,000 residents, assuming the 1 per 1,000 is an appropriate benchmark.

Of six of the largest communities in the in Tri-County region, Detroit has consistently had the highest number of sworn officers per 1,000 residents since 2005, according to FBI data. The rate of officers in this time ranged from 3.2 to about 3.9.

In January of 2013 Interim Police Chief Chester Logan stated he was skeptical about releasing, then current, officer numbers, according to an MLive article. In the same article, Logan also said the city had 40 percent fewer officers at the beginning of 2013 than 10 years prior. While this statistic has since been widely used throughout the media, it also caused some to dig deeper into the operations of the department.

In an August 2013 article produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, confusion over the deployment of Detroit’s patrol officers were brought to light. For example, city officials were quoted in August of 2013 as saying 33 percent of the entire department in 2012 were involved in policing and the rest performed administrative functions. Police officials were quoted, however, as saying that 68 percent of the department was involved in policing in 2012.A report conducted by the Emergency Manager’s Office in the summer of 2013 concluded the discrepancy could not be resolved, according to the article.

While the discrepancy over the use of police has not been resolved, it should be noted the Detroit Police Department has benefited from several grants in recent years. For example, in September 2013 the federal government announced it was providing the City of Detroit with $1.8 million to help pay for 10 police officers. Other grants awarded to the city helped with purchasing new technology for the police department and violence prevention programs.

In 2011, all the above police departments experienced a decrease in the rate of officers per 1,000 residents, with the exception of Detroit. In 2010 the City of Detroit had 3.2 officers per 1,000 residents and in 2011 it had 3.8. Detroit’s rate increase though was not reflective of an increase in the number of officers, but a decline in the population. This is true for all police departments, except for Warren, from 2010 to 2013 in the above chart.

Since 2011, Warren and Livonia have experienced a rate increase. The two cities have been able to sustain their police forces, and increase their officer to population ratio, through increased taxes and department reorganizations. In August of 2012 Warren voters approved a police and fire service millage. Also in 2012 the City of Livonia continued to reorganize its police department, which brought in additional non-officers to perform administrative duties so more patrol officers could be on the street.

Sterling Heights (data wasn’t available for 2005 and 2006) had the lowest rates, ranging from about 1.1 to 1.3. Although Sterling Heights began to lose officers when the recession began in 2008, because property values were declining, residents approved a millage in 2013 to support the police and fire departments. This millage approval allowed the Sterling Heights Police Department to keep 45 officers on staff that were initially slated to be laid off.

Motor vehicle theft increases while overall property crime rate declines

In addition to violent crimes, the FBI also tracks property crimes on an annual basis. This post shows how property crimes have decreased in both Detroit and the State of Michigan during 2012.  Not only have the overall property crime rates decreased, but so have the burglary and larceny-theft rates. Motor vehicle theft on the hand experienced an increase from 2011 to 2012 for the City of Detroit.

According to the FBI, property crime “includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.  The object of the theft-type offenses is the taking of money or property, but there is no force or threat of force against the victims.”

There was a decrease in the reported property crime rate for both Detroit and Michigan from 2011 to 2012. In 2012, Detroit’s property crime rate was reported at 5,792 compared to 6,143.5 in 2011. Michigan’s property crime rate was reported at 2,530 in 2012, down from 2,621.1 in 2011.

According to the FBI burglary is defined as, “the unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or theft.  To classify an offense as a burglary, the use of force to gain entry need not have occurred.”

In 2012, both the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan followed similar trends of experiencing a decrease in the burglary rate. In 2012, Detroit’s burglary rate was 2,097.5 compared to 2,242.2 in 2011. Michigan’s burglary rate was 664.4 in 2012 compared to 725 in 2011. Note the increase in the rate with the worsening economic climate after 2005, followed by a decline as the economy improved after 2011.

According to the FBI, larceny theft is defined as “the unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession or constructive possession of another.”

In 2012, the larceny rate for Detroit was 2,228.3 and the state’s rate was 1,612; both rates have seen significant declines since 1992.

According to the FBI, motor vehicle theft is defined as “the theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle.”

While the motor vehicle theft rate experienced a decline from 2006 to 2009 it has since increased. In 2012 the motor vehicle theft rate in the City of Detroit was 1,626 and in 2011 it was reported to be 1,594 per 100,000 residents.

The State of Michigan has experienced a steady decline in its motor vehicle theft rates since 2006 (496.6). In 2012 the rate was 157.2.

The above chart shows the rate of criminal offenses (per 100,000 people) reported in 2012 for the property crimes addressed in this post for the City of Detroit and the next four most populous cities that are part of the Detroit Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). Of the five communities, Detroit had the highest rate of offenses reported for all of the crimes, with the exception of larceny. Dearborn has the highest larceny rate in 2012.

Number of gun permits issued in Metro-Detroit area increasing

In the state of Michigan, residents age 18 and older are legally allowed to purchase a pistol(1) with a purchase license from a private seller. At the age of 21, residents are allowed to purchase a firearm(2) from a Federal Firearms License dealer. However, no license is required to purchase a long gun(3) but the purchaser must be 18 years of age or older and have no criminal or mental illness health history.

Despite the decline in population in the Metro-Detroit area, the number of total gun permits and concealed pistol permits issued has been increasing substantially. This increase began in 2005 for Detroit and Wayne County and in 2007 for Oakland and Macomb counties.

(1)A pistol is a handgun where the chamber is integrated into the barrel.

(2)A firearm which is a portable, barreled weapon that launches one or more projectiles.

(3)A long gun is in the category of firearms where the barrel is longer and the gun itself is meant to braced against the shoulder while firing.

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The above chart shows the rate, per 100,000 residents, of the total number of gun permits issued in 2012. This rate is based on the December population estimates released from the Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments. As can be seen, Macomb County had the highest rate of gun permits issued in 2012 at 3,189 and Detroit had the lowest at 1,227.

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The total number of gun permits issued in the City of Detroit began to increase in 2005 when 3,486 permits were issued. By 2012, 8,406 permits were issued despite the city’s declining population. By the end of April in 2013, 3,076 permits were issued, according to information provided by Michigan State Police.

Like the City of Detroit, the total number of gun permits issued in Wayne County also began to increase to in 2005. In that year 16,212 permits were issued and in 2012, 41,522 were issued, again in the context of a declining population. In 2012, 20 percent of the gun permits issued in Wayne County were issued in Detroit. By the end of April in 2013, 18,034 permits were issued, according to the Michigan State Police.

Since 1990, the total number of gun permits issued in Macomb County has consistently been below the number of permits issued in Wayne County. However, while the population in Wayne County has been declining, Macomb County’s population has been increasing, as have the total number of gun permits issued. Still the rate of gun permits in Macomb is much higher than the other counties. The number of permits issued in Macomb County began to increase in 2007.  In that year, 11,564 were issued and in 2012, 27,906 were issued. By the end of April of 2013, 12,973 gun permits were issued.

The total number of gun permits issued in Oakland County since 1990 has also been below the number of permits issued in Wayne County. However, more permits have been issued in Oakland County than Macomb County, with the exception of 1997 and 1998. Along with the increasing number of gun permits issued in Oakland County, the population has also been increasing. The number of permits issued in Oakland County began to increase in 2007; that year, 15,211 were issued. By 2012, 342,624 were issued and by the end of April in 2013, 16,467 were been issued, according to the Michigan State Police.

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To obtain a concealed pistol permit in the state of Michigan, one must be at least 21 years old and have been a Michigan resident for at least six months prior to applying for the license. The applicant must also have also completed a pistol training course and not have been convicted of a felony, a violent crime, or certain misdemeanors. An applicant must also be mentally stable, which means not having been committed for mental illness, being diagnosed with a mental illness or been charged with a crime where mental illness was deemed a factor. Exact details on the type of misdemeanors an applicant cannot have been convicted of within a certain time frame, along with other specifics on applying for a permit, can be found at Michigan.gov.

When a person obtains a concealed pistol permit, he or she is still not allowed to carry the weapon in federal buildings, schools, daycare centers, child-related centers and agencies, hospitals, dormitories, religious centers, sports arenas, bars, and dormitories and classrooms of colleges and universities.

While Macomb County had the highest rate of total gun permits issued in 2012, it had the lowest rate, per 100,000 residents, of concealed pistol permits issued.  The rate at which concealed pistol permits were issued in 2012 for Macomb County was 988 per 100,000 residents. For Oakland County the rate was 1,012 and for Wayne County it was 1,017.

The number of concealed pistol permits issued for the City of Detroit was not available on the Michigan State Police website.

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The total number of concealed pistol permits issued over the years has followed the same increasing trend as the number of gun permits.  The data on the number of concealed pistol permits issued is tracked annually from July 1 to June 30. Overall, there has been a higher number of concealed pistol permits issued in Wayne County than Oakland and Macomb counties. In 2012, 18,195 were issued in Wayne County, 12,407 were issued in Oakland County and 8,395 were issued in Macomb County.