Michigan is one the nation’s hidden gems. The Great Lake State boasts the most freshwater coastline in the continental U.S., a vast selection of exceptional breweries, and boundless opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts whether you love hunting, fishing, hiking, or sunbathing on the shore.
If you’re looking for an active, naturally beautiful place to live, Michigan should be at the top of your list. Whether you’re drawn to a tranquil, rural community or prefer the hustle and bustle of a big city, Michigan has a town that will make you feel right at home.
Beyond the gorgeous scenery and miles of lakeshore, Michigan also offers an impressive safety record. Crimes against persons have steadily decreased each year since 2012, with more than 11,000 fewer reported incidents across the state in 2014. Nearly half of our 50 safest cities are being acknowledged for the second year in a row — a true testament to the effectiveness of crime prevention throughout the state.
How We Chose the Safest Cities in Michigan
To identify the 50 safest cities in Michigan, we started by looking at cities with a population of more than 5,000 residents in 2013, as well as those that did not make a complete crime report to the FBI. From there, we analyzed the most recent FBI Crime Report Statistics from 2013 for each city, including both property crime (arson, burglary, motor vehicle theft, larceny-theft) and violent crime (robbery, murder, aggravated assault, rape). Then, to make everything equitable, we calculated the chance of these crimes occurring out of 1,000 people in each city.
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Our list features three cities that had zero reports of violent crime in 2013, and 46 reported no incidents of murder. Overall, there were 27 cities that reported no arsons during the latest reporting year, and 50 percent of the cities reported fewer than five motor vehicle thefts.
Strong dedication to crime prevention and robust community involvement make these 50 cities stand out as safe communities where families and businesses can prosper. Whether you’re considering a move to Michigan or are curious about how your hometown ranked, take a look at the 50 cities we’ve identified as the safest in the state. And find practical ways to keep your family safe no matter what Michigan city you call home by consulting our Michigan Safety Directory.
1. Raisin Township
This close-knit farming community debuts on our list as the safest city to call home in the Great Lake State. Raisin Township had no reports of violent crime during the FBI’s most recent reporting year, and that’s no surprise thanks to the city’s proactive safety initiatives like OK2SAY. This program improves school safety by encouraging students to speak up about bullying and providing crisis training and intervention.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.00
Property Crimes per 1,000: 1.33
2. Thetford Township
This community makes looking out for neighbors and public safety a priority. And community-minded services like Vacation Checks helped the police department keep the total number of reported crimes in 2013 below 25. Thetford Township citizens can rest easy both at home and away, knowing they live in Michigan’s second safest city.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.43
Property Crimes per 1,000: 2.76
3. Kinross Township
In Kinross Township, safety starts with its youngest citizens. The Kinross Community Child Watch program mobilizes friends, neighbors, and city and school employees to keep an eye out for the safety of children, adults, and the wider community. The program’s success is evident in the low incidence of violent crime — only three were reported in 2013 — and the city’s claim to our number three spot.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.38
Property Crimes per 1,000: 3.45
4. Grosse Ile Township
Grosse Ile holds strong as the fourth-safest place to live in Michigan for the second year running. In addition to limiting violent and property crime to fewer than 50 reported incidents in 2013, the township’s police department fights crime and builds community trust through an active Facebook page. And the department’s purchase of a new SUV will make sure that the bad guys won’t have a chance come rain or shine.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.39
Property Crimes per 1,000: 4.31
This charming village has always been ahead of the curve, whether by being one of the first cities in the state with electric lights or by blazing a trail of safety and security and landing in our top 10 two years in a row. Milford moves up one spot this year thanks to the success of initiatives like the Milford Police Department Care House, which partners with state agencies to protect and care for child victims of abuse.
6. New Baltimore
There’s far more to New Baltimore than a quaint, coastal atmosphere. This historic community appears on our list for the second time, with zero reported incidents of violent crime in 2013. Forward-thinking programs like the Cadet and Park Patrol encourage regular citizens to get involved in safety measures and crime prevention.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.74
Property Crimes per 1,000: 5.59
7. Chocolay Township
This tasty-sounding township makes its debut as one of Michigan’s safest cities this year, nabbing the seventh spot thanks to a year free of violent crimes and just 39 reported property crimes in 2013. Residents of Chocolay Township believe in keeping their streets beautiful and safe. The Adopt-a-Tree project helped the city plant more than 200 trees, increasing a sense of community pride that citizens can’t help but work to protect.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.00
Property Crimes per 1,000: 6.46
8. Columbia Township
When NASCAR comes to town, Columbia Township is transformed from a small, peaceful community into the third most populated place in the state. But that doesn’t keep their dedicated police force from maintaining order and keeping crimes down to just 50 reported in 2013. A strong focus on community presence and high case-closure rates make Columbia the eighth-safest place to call home in Michigan.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.42
Property Crimes per 1,000: 4.31
9. Spring Arbor Township
Home to Spring Arbor University, this conscientious city works alongside the Department of Campus Safety to make sure both parents and students are able to breathe easy and focus on graduation instead of personal security issues. The university reported just 15 criminal offenses on campus in their most recent reporting year, helping Spring Arbor become one of the safest cities in the Great Lake State.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.12
Property Crimes per 1,000: 6.88
10. Hamburg Township
Rounding out our top 10, Hamburg Township reported only five violent crimes in 2013, which is highly impressive for a city of more than 20,000 residents. Their safety success comes from a strong dedication to every aspect of public safety. The Big Red Barrel project provides a safe, anonymous way to dispose of prescription drugs, and the local police force provides everything from car seat checks to free home visits while residents are on vacation.
11. Berrien Springs Oronoko Township
Both visitors and residents can enjoy the vineyards and wineries of our 11th-safest Michigan city in peace thanks to the township’s low rates of both violent and property crime. Strong relationships between law enforcement and the public are a key to keeping Berrien Springs Oronoko a safe place to put down roots. Police conduct open houses and provide regular updates of activity to ensure transparency and build trust.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.41
Property Crimes per 1,000: 7.08
12. Napoleon Township
There’s no aspect of public safety too small for this proactive community to address. Whether it’s keeping murder, robbery, and rape down to zero reported incidents in 2013, or making sure the city’s children are safe on their way to school, Napoleon Township is committed to making a difference. The Safe Walk to School event is an annual program that helps students who walk to school arrive safe and sound.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.29
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.41
It’s easy to see why this “little city with a big heart” is Michigan’s 13th-safest city. There were only 10 violent crimes reported in Clawson in 2013, and the entire community is united in an effort to eliminate car and pedestrian accidents. The city recently received a grant to construct pedestrian islands in Clawson’s thriving downtown business districts. Now visitors and residents can shop, dine, and enjoy their city with greater peace of mind.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.83
Property Crimes per 1,000: 7.92
Rochester citizens are proud of their city, and recent survey results show that they have “an extremely high opinion of their public safety services.” The city’s police, fire, municipal courts, EMS, and emergency preparedness all rank above national benchmarks, helping this safe city land a spot on our list for the second year in a row.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.69
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.41
15. St. Louis
St. Louis makes its first appearance on our safe cities list this year after only 70 crimes were reported in 2013. With a thriving downtown district that is home to quaint shops and community events, it’s important that visitors and residents feel safe walking these historic streets. The city’s full-service police department provides everything from crowd control and accident investigations to motorist assistance and vacation home checks.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.07
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.36
16. South Lyon
You don’t have to walk on two legs to take advantage of safety initiatives in South Lyon. This city cares about its furry four-legged friends as much as the people who call South Lyon home. The police department has an assertive Lost and Found Pets program that works to reunite wandering pets with their concerned owners. It’s no surprise that a town where animals are cared for would also be one of the safest places for the rest of us.
17. Madison Township
Community welfare is a top priority for the police and fire departments in Madison Township. In fact, this safe city works hard to equip average citizens with the skills needed to help in an emergency situation. Regular EMS training classes are offered by the fire department, helping residents look out for the welfare of their friends and neighbors.
18. Grosse Pointe Farms
Situated on the shores of Lake St. Clair, this picturesque upscale community had only seven reported violent crimes in 2013 and zero counts of murder and rape. The city’s K-9 program helps keep the bad guys at bay. A specially trained officer partners with Duke, a canine graduate of Michigan’s K-9 Academy, to support police activities and participate in public relations events throughout the community.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.75
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.59
19. Huntington Woods
The personal touch helps Huntington Woods stand out as one of the safest communities in Michigan. Police officers in this charming community don’t take reports over their website or the phone. Instead, officers are dispatched to residents’ homes or businesses to personally take reports and offer comfort to concerned citizens. This individualized care helped Huntington Woods limit violent crimes to just one incident reported in 2013.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.15
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.30
Even private citizens get into the safety game in Berkley. Live Safe Academy is a family-run school that offers self-defense and safety camps for children and adults. Committed to helping all Berkley residents pursue a safer lifestyle, Live Safe Academy is an approved Criminal Justice Training Provider by the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.79
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.75
21. Tittabawassee Township
Home to top-notch schools and friendly neighborhoods, Tittabawassee Township makes its first appearance on our safe cities list. This conscientious community is devoted to safety, whether it’s preventing accidental fires, checking on residents’ homes when they are away, or supporting responsible firearms ownership. Thanks to the diligence of citizens and community leaders, Tittabawassee reported just 15 violent crimes and zero counts of murder and arson in 2013.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.52
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.34
22. Bloomfield Township
Bloomfield Township makes an appearance as one of Michigan’s safest cities for the second time this year. And this is one town that hasn’t rested on its laurels. This past December the town took strong actions to toughen rules and consequences for underage drinking. Keeping teens safe and alcohol-free is a top priority for this concerned community.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.55
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.40
Image: Andrew Jameson; CC BY-SA 3.0
23. West Bloomfield Township
With more than 65,000 residents, West Bloomfield has an impressive safety record with only 43 incidents of violent crime reported in 2013. Assertive actions like SMART (Speed Monitoring Awareness Radar Trailer), which visually reminds drivers of their speeds in an effort to keep roads safe, are a big part of what makes West Bloomfield a strong, secure place to live and play.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.65
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.70
Image: Av9; CC BY-SA 4.0
Ranked one of the best suburbs in Michigan to raise a family, Plymouth is home to young families, good schools, and an excellent safety record. One way the Plymouth Police Department looks after its residents is by offering business and residential security surveys through their Crime Prevention Bureau. These diligent efforts helped limit violent crime to just 14 incidents in 2013, according to FBI data.
25. Plymouth Township
A community-oriented policing philosophy helped Plymouth Township earn a spot on our list for the first time this year. Officers are assigned to specific neighborhoods to get to know the residents and become a regular fixture of the community. Partnerships between law enforcement and residents, schools, and businesses help township police curb crime and quickly address community problems.
26. Clayton Township
Known as “a fine rural community,” this safe township had only a dozen reported violent crimes in the FBI’s most recent reporting year. Local law enforcement participates in several national and state programs, including Crime Stoppers, OTIS (Offender Tracking Information System), The Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry, and Code Red.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.63
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.37
Farmington is a historic, wealthy community that knows the importance of protecting its resources and citizens. In addition to traditional Neighborhood Watch programs, this safe city has also implemented a Business Watch program that helps mobilize and support local business owners to keep crime down in the city’s thriving business districts.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.23
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.93
28. Richfield Township, Genesee County
Citizens in Richfield Township stay informed of emergency situations, Amber Alerts, and criminal activity through the Code Red system, a reverse 9-1-1 system that sends out alerts to registered home, business, and mobile phone lines whenever anything affecting the city’s safety occurs. Programs like this helped Richfield end 2013 with zero reports of arson, robbery, and murder.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.17
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.02
29. Beverly Hills
Only six violent crimes were reported in the village of Beverly Hills during 2013. Law enforcement officials and citizens alike remain diligent about safety and security through the GovDelivery information system. This no-spam message service sends up-to-the-minute neighborhood information about public safety and community events via text or email.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.57
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.63
All citizens have a chance to pitch in and help protect their community in the verdant city of Birmingham. A robust volunteer police auxiliary unit provides extra security at high school sporting events, community festivals, and parades, and auxiliary officers can accompany regular officers on patrol as well. Birmingham also provides a volunteer police chaplain program to support both law enforcement officers and the public.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.68
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.63
Image: Birmingham; CC BY-SA 4.0
31. East Grand Rapids
Stately trees and fanciful sailboats dot the landscape of this safe Michigan city. East Grand Rapids debuts on our list with a record of just three violent crimes reported in 2013. This responsible community starts with its youngest citizens when it comes to public safety. The Child Identification Program provides fingerprint and DNA kits to parents at no charge, and the information provided becomes part of a national database to help identify missing or runaway children.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.27
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.43
Zero reports of murder, arson, and rape in 2013 helped Flushing nab a spot as one of the safest cities in Michigan this year. This community believes in being prepared and participates in Michigan’s statewide program to reduce and prevent auto theft, HEAT (Help Eliminate Auto Theft). This programs helps link law enforcement agencies throughout the state and coordinate reports of stolen vehicles, carjackings, chop shops, and any other suspected auto theft activities.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.60
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.43
33. Lincoln Township
Even with an annual influx of tourists looking to enjoy the natural beauty surrounding Lincoln Township, this city maintains a solid track record when it comes to keeping its streets safe. Safety initiatives extend beyond crime prevention in this secure community. Alerts and reminders to ensure pedestrian and cyclist safety are a regular part of Lincoln’s public safety activities.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.23
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.83
34. Sumpter Township
Roadside fruit stands and people on horseback are common sights in this safe community. Sumpter Township may have a country feel, but it’s 100 percent modern when it comes to fighting crime. The city uses Nixle to keep residents informed about important safety information. This service allows two-way communication in real time through text, email, social media, voicemail, and a mobile Nixle app.
35. Northville Township
Northville police establish community trust and partnerships through the accessibility of the Bicycle Patrol unit. And you might want to get stopped by these police officers. The Bicycle Patrol rewards safe behavior by handing out free ice cream vouchers to citizens caught wearing helmets when out on their own bikes.
Riverview police are committed to shutting down drug activity and keeping their community safe and prosperous for businesses and families. They partner with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration to keep dangerous illegal drugs out of their town. Drug education and prevention starts early in Riverview through the D.A.R.E. program offered in local schools.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.54
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.14
Image: Imzadi1979; Public Domain
37. Walled Lake
Residents in this lakeside community have always been willing to help out a neighbor in need. Walled Lake was a depot stop on the Underground Railroad, and the city still seeks ways to make a difference today. Community safety training that includes everything from how to deal with a home intrusion to bicycle safety tips is a primary service of the Walled Lake Police Department.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 3.66
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.28
38. Bath Township
Joint efforts from the police and fire departments help keep this growing township one of the safest places to live, work, and play in Michigan. Each summer the fire department sponsors a Fire Prevention and Safety Program for children. And to make sure they don’t miss your house in the event of an emergency, the fire department also provides free reflective house numbers to residents.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.61
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.32
39. Green Oak Township
Don’t let the rolling hills and babbling brooks fool you into thinking Green Oak Township isn’t tough on crime. This city kept violent crime to fewer than 25 reported incidents in 2013, and there were no murders or arsons reported. To beef up vehicle patrols, the police chief recently leased two Harley-Davidson police motorcycles to better respond to community needs.
40. Grand Ledge
This peaceful community looks to the future when it comes to public safety. The Teaching Education, and Mentoring (T.E.A.M.) School Liaison Program is a hands-on effort to promote responsible citizenship, increase safety in schools and communities, and reinforce positive behavior in Grand Ledge. Specially trained Grand Ledge police officers teach the program to help ensure a safe community for the next generation.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.77
Property Crimes per 1,000: 13.38
41. Farmington Hills
Farmington Hills takes safety seriously, as evidenced by just 72 reported violent crimes in 2013 — a remarkable achievement for a city of more than 81,000. The city provides free security surveys to identify potential security risks and offers tips on effective landscape design for crime prevention.
42. Thomas Township
For the second year, Thomas Township is recognized as one of Michigan’s safest cities. Looking beyond law enforcement, Thomas is focused on preventing crime and accidents before they happen. The police website provides an online Drink Wheel that helps citizens estimate their blood alcohol content before getting behind the wheel.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.75
Property Crimes per 1,000: 14.01
Trenton police recognize that there’s power in numbers. That’s why the Trenton Police Department partners with the Downriver Mutual Aid Task Force (D.M.A.T.F.), which combines 17 law enforcement departments in the area. The D.M.A.T.F. provides additional manpower and expertise during emergency and crisis situations without adding the burden of extra costs to individual city police departments.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.35
Property Crimes per 1,000: 13.47
44. White Lake Township
Boasting plenty of activities for nature lovers no matter the season, White Lake Township makes sure criminal activity doesn’t keep its citizens from playing hard — and smart — all year round. The White Lake Police Youth Academy helps lay a foundation for civic responsibility and crime prevention from a young age.
45. Canton Township
Positive relationships with the community helped Canton Township police keep violent crime to under 100 reports in 2013. Coffee with a Cop is just one program the city has initiated to foster cooperation and trust between citizens and law enforcement. Residents have the opportunity to gain insight into police activities and ask questions about issues in the community in an informal setting each month.
46. Forsyth Township
As protectors of one of Michigan’s largest townships in land area, Forsyth police need to stay ahead of the curve to keep every nook of their 179 square miles as safe as possible. And they leave very few stones unturned. Going beyond traffic control and neighborhood patrols, Forsyth police have their eye on taking down scams that prey on unsuspecting residents. A Scam Alert page on their website keeps citizens informed of swindlers trying to take their hard-earned money.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.91
Property Crimes per 1,000: 13.22
47. Royal Oak
Royal Oak has a bustling downtown district featuring more than 80 boutiques and 70 restaurants. Thanks to fast-acting police officers known for getting the bad guys, visitors to and residents of this thriving area can shop and dine in peace. A home invasion suspect was recently caught less than 24 hours after the incident due to smart police work and citizens willing to step forward and speak up.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.68
Property Crimes per 1,000: 13.45
48. Grosse Pointe Woods
In Grosse Pointe Woods, public safety extends to providing top-notch emergency medical services. The city provides Advanced Life Support to its residents, meaning every ambulance carries a state-licensed paramedic and an additional emergency medical technician. Citizens rest assured knowing they are in the right hands in the event of a medical emergency or accident.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.20
Property Crimes per 1,000: 13.95
49. St. Johns
Known as the “Mint Festival City,” St. Johns residents like to have a good time — but not at the expense of safety. In addition to offering a variety of fun community events throughout the year, this active agricultural town also provides safety programs to keep revelers from harm. The Halloween Safety Program sends officers to kindergarten, first-, and second-grade classrooms the week before Halloween to explain safety rules and practices.
50. Huron Township
Residents in Huron Township don’t have to wonder how safe their neighborhood is. The city’s Crime Mapping Service provides up-to-the-minute crime and incident information at the click of a mouse. The service also allows citizens to offer anonymous information they have about any crime reported.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.43
Property Crimes per 1,000: 13.00
Keeping your home and loved ones safe is a top priority no matter where you live. If you’ve been holding off on adding a security system to your home protection plan, it’s time to explore the benefits. Nothing can compare to the peace of mind that comes with knowing your family has an extra layer of security even when you’re away from home.
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