in communities over 50,000
Auburn Hills, Mich. – Sept. 4, 2015 – Michigan-based Munetrix, a data aggregator offering a comprehensive suite of reporting, management and forecasting tools designed to meet the financial management and transparency needs of states, municipalities and schools, today released its first “Munetrix Safest Cities” list. The Munetrix list looks at Michigan communities over 50,000 in population using total crime as the metric, which is different from most crime studies, according to Bob Kittle, president of Munetrix and lead analyst for this report.
“Usually crime statistics are discussed in the context of Part 1 crimes: murders and rapes. Munetrix wanted to see what all crime statistics reflected when measured on a per-capita basis,” Kittle said. “Any discussion on crime is sensitive to communities. The new Munetrix list offers an alternative way for citizens and municipal leaders to use data in prioritizing their public safety goals and budgets.”
In Michigan, there are 1,856 local units of government: 83 counties, 1,240 townships, 278 cities and 255 villages. All in, there were 418,475 total crimes 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 (MIP) and petty thefts. Total crime places crimes into four categories.
1. Crimes against people
2. Crimes against property
3. Crimes against society
4. Other crimes
The Munetrix report focuses 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.
Although it was not a factor considered in the study, Kittle noted while conducting his research that two of the Top 15, the City of Rochester Hills and Macomb Charter Township, contract with their County’s Sheriff’s Department for their police protection.
“These two also have the lowest police cost on a per-capita basis, which we found interesting. We’ll have to dig deeper into the data to see what else we may uncover,” 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.”
Munetrix continues to use its massive school and municipal data base to report on issues of interest to leaders of governmental units, as well as every day citizens. In April 2015, Munetrix released its list of the top 30 fiscally fit public school districts and top 20 charter school districts in Michigan. In March, in conjunction with the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), Munetrix reported on the top fiscally sound local governments in the seven county, SE Michigan region. Munetrix’s fiscally sound lists are based on the proprietary Munetrix scoring system, which is similar in concept to a personal FICO score.
Residents and others curious about how their community would rank on the Munetrix safest cities list can find the information necessary to conduct their own research at www.munetrix.com.
Michigan-based Munetrix is the creator of the Munetrix (municipal metrics) cloud-based local government transparency tool and is among the nation’s largest aggregators of municipal and school district data, allowing subscribers to view public sector financial and demographic data in an easy to understand format and use that data to make meaningful and reliable budgets and financial projections. What is your community’s Munetrix Score? To learn more, visit the Munetrix website.