CADILLAC — Cadillac is following a national trend of reduced crime.
Cadillac’s public safety director says he feels safe here.
“The City of Cadillac is a safe community that is protected and served by some of the greatest first responders I have had the privilege of working with,‘ Public Safety Director Adam Ottjepka told the Cadillac News in an email. “I can tell you first hand living in this community for just over a year that I have never had an uneasy fear for my safety. Through my many years of training and experience I believe Cadillac is a community orientated, family friendly, safe town to live in.‘
As 2019 nears its end, the FBI is releasing crime statistics from 2018. Nationally, crime is down compared to last year.
“The 2018 statistics show the estimated rate of violent crime was 368.9 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants, and the estimated rate of property crime was 2,199.5 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants. The violent crime rate fell 3.9 percent when compared with the 2017 rate; the property crime rate declined 6.9 percent,‘ the bureau announced in a news release that accompanied the release of 2018 data.
The national trend is true for Cadillac as well; violent crime was down in 2018 compared to 2017, with 68 incidents of violent crime in 2018 compared to 85 in 2017.
Violent crime includes murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape and assault.
Property crime was also down slightly in Cadillac, with 226 incidents in 2018 versus 228 in 2017. Property crime includes burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and arson.
The rates represent crimes reported by city police to the state and through the state, to the FBI. It doesn’t reflect county or state police cases.
The FBI’s release of new Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) statistics follows the recent release of safe cities statistics by Security Baron, a website that reviews security systems.
Cadillac did not fare well compared to other Michigan cities, by Security Baron’s reckoning, which used the FBI’s UCR data from 2017 and 2016. The site used violent and property crime statistics, law enforcement staffing levels and median income to give communities a score, then ranked communities based on that score.
Of the 199 cities in Michigan that Security Baron ranked, Cadillac came in 161st place. That was above Detroit, Lansing and Flint and one slot above Sturgis, which is about the same size as Cadillac. Cadillac was ranked below Manistee, Ludington and Traverse City (130-132, respectively) and well below Petoskey (the 28th safest city in Michigan, according to the report) and Denton Township (Houghton Lake, 45th place).
The FBI cautions against using UCR data to rank and compare communities.
“Rankings ignore the uniqueness of each locale,‘ the bureau states in document describing the perils of rankings. Economics, urban density, climate and citizens’ reporting habits were among some of the factors the FBI says can impact crime reporting data.
Security Baron did not return a message about its methodology. An email to a marketing agency that issued a press release about the rankings was returned as “undeliverable‘ and a Facebook message to the site’s editor was not immediately returned.