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Posted on Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 5:55 a.m.

Ypsilanti leads Washtenaw County in per capita crimes, according to data

By Tom Perkins

Editor's note: This story has been edited and the chart updated to remove crimes committed on the Eastern Michigan University and University of Michigan campuses.

The City of Ypsilanti topped the list of municipalities with the highest number of crimes per capita in Washtenaw County.

Not including Eastern Michigan University, a total of 169 crimes were reported for every 1,000 residents in the city in 2009, the most recent figures available. 

Population statistics came from the U.S. Census Bureau, and crime statistics came from the Michigan State Police Michigan Incident Crime Reporting database. The number of crimes in each municipality reflects the total number of crimes reported there — no matter which agency responded.

Ypsilanti_police.jpgYpsilanti leads the county in per capita crimes, according to data from 2009, the most recent numbers available. file

Crime rates in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor do not include U-M and EMU campus crimes. Police and housing officials on campus say they can’t figure an exact campus population because of commuters and other variables. That makes it impossible to produce an exact or accurate crime rate for each campus, police officials say. EMU recorded 743 crimes in 2009, while the University of Michigan had 1,833.

Lodi and Manchester Townships, which contract with the Sheriff’s Department for police protection, had the lowest crime rates — with 17 incidents for every 1,000 residents. Many other townships that contract with the Sheriff’s Department also posted low crime rates.

Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton points to the per capita crime rate as a measure of the agency’s effectiveness. Sheriff's spokesman Derrick Jackson said the department's goal is to be proactive in its policing and prevent a crime from having to be solved.

“In short, I guess I can repeat what has been said around our office before. Would you rather us stop someone from robbing you before it happens, or catch the robber after you have already had all of your stuff stolen?” he said.

Many variables can affect the numbers. Some police officials say keeping the books straight and reporting accurately to the Michigan State Police can make their rates appear higher, while poor record-keeping keeps numbers artificially low.

Municipalities with higher crime rates tend to have higher population densities, a younger population and higher poverty rates.

The cities with younger populations also attract more common “nuisance” and petty crimes, such as alcohol-related offenses or malicious destruction of property complaints. Geography also plays a role, and municipalities in the eastern part of Washtenaw County generally reported higher rates than those in the western part.

Tom Perkins is a freelance writer for Reach the news desk at or 734-623-2530.



Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 6:28 p.m.

sur·prise? ? [ser-prahyz, suh-] Show IPA verb, -prised, -pris·ing, noun –verb (used with object) 1. to strike or occur to with a sudden feeling of wonder or astonishment, as through unexpectedness: "Ypsilanti leads Washtenaw County in per capita crimes, according to data-not."

Edward Vielmetti

Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 6 p.m.

If you are looking for a breakdown of on-campus crime vs. off-campus crime for the U of Michigan and for Eastern Michigan U, here are some more sources of statistics: UM: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Eastern: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 5:48 p.m.

Perhaps a follow-up story on the Ypsilanti Police Department would help people understand whats going on in Ypsilanti. How big was the department at its largest, where is the department now in terms of officers. How many officers are actually assigned to patrol and not Detective Bureau, LAWNET, Records etc... I know the department has atleast a couple administrators at the top that could help out with patrolling. I'd like to see YPD's Lieutenants and Chief out on the streets helping their officers. Plus last week they ran a story about a sgt who is constantly sleeping on the job (story about racial discrimination lawsuit). Something tells me he isn't being much of a crime deterent while catching some shut eye.


Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 5:43 p.m.

I would like to know what the heck is going on in Milan also. It seems as though we pay taxes for 2 officers, one on the day and another on the afternoon afternoon shift, then the midnight shift is covered by State Police. Seems to me that the officers spend more time in Pittsfield and Ypsilanti.


Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 5:35 p.m.

@bill - your comment is directed to the wrong person. The Mayor of Ypsilanti is a weak-mayor slot. City Council is who brings the budget to vote (mayor only gets 1 out of 7 votes). My take on this is that the PR office at the Sheriff's dept is working OT. Glad they can afford a professional spokesman. that being said, Ypsilanti has to right the ship and have some hard conversations about what is can and should be doing for its citizens.


Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 5:16 p.m.

&quot;Would you rather us stop someone from robbing you before it happens, or catch the robber after you have already had all of your stuff stolen?&quot; And yet when I ask &quot;would you rather stop someone from killing you or have the police try to catch them after you're already dead&quot;, it is ridiculed. Why is it so hard to extrapolate?

Alan Goldsmith

Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 5:03 p.m.

&quot;Many variables can affect the numbers. Some police officials say keeping the books straight and reporting accurately to the Michigan State Police can make their rates appear higher, while poor record-keeping keeps numbers artificially low.&quot; Ok, so...did we review any of the Washtenaw County data to see if this is the case? If not, then...oh never mind.

Alan Goldsmith

Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 5 p.m.

So this generic 'crime' word makes this article meaningless. So is a crime can be a murder, a GPS being stolen from a car or someone shoplifting? Without qualifiers it's just a colleciton of numbers that could be irrelevant. And were the EMU students figured into the 'census' totals? If not, the Ypsilanti figures are totally meaningless.

Tony Dearing

Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 3:52 p.m.

A comment was removed because it violated our conversation guidelines. We do not allow profanity or abbreviations that represent profanity, even in cases where the profanity is included in a direct quote that the commenter is pulling from a video related to a news story.


Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 3:37 p.m.

there we go for all of you who were always spouting off &quot; Ann Arbor is just as bad, it's just not being reported by the press&quot;


Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 3:31 p.m.

if the numbers for ypsi are flawed then the numbers for aa must be flawed as well.


Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 4:29 p.m.

my guess is that they are using census data so the likihood that U of M has those students included is slim, but it is possible. Anyway EMU has a couple of thousand that live on campus plus Ypsi hosts several thousand more student rentors in off campus rentals.


Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 4:25 p.m.

Well the obvious issue is that UM has a huge live-in student population that probably is counted while EMU is a commuter school, thus while they are on campus they don't sleep there and are not counted.


Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 3:44 p.m.

I would assume that they are, can't imagine that they would have changed the research methodology.


Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 2:57 p.m.

@xmo; There are many methods of stopping crime before it starts. One that comes to mind is a large police and/or community presence that all but ensures offenders will be apprehended. A constant presence in West Willow, for instance, would probably stop parties before they got out of hand. Quick response to complaints would do the same. Breaking up a party at 10:00 PM is probably easier than a murder investigation at 3:00 AM.


Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 2:07 p.m.

Is this comment Racial Profiling: &quot; Would you rather us stop someone from robbing you before it happens, or catch the robber after you have already had all of your stuff stolen?" How can you stop someone from committing a crime before it happens unless you profile?


Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 1:46 p.m.

If I am reading the above table correctly it appears that the Ypsilanti PD stats include crimes that occured on EMU Property? But the population used appears to be the city population NOT including the student population either on campus and/or EMU student rentors. Please correct me if I am wrong. If I'm not wrong then it sorta seems like an intentionally misleading &quot;study&quot; to purposely skew the opinion of the crime rate in Ypsilanti. Maybe could do a follow up on the VIOLENT offenses (suchas as Shootings and Homicides) in the above jurisdictions. Opps Mr Clayton may not like how &quot;effective&quot; his Dept looks in the light of that study. LOL


Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 3:16 p.m.

jjc, EXCELLENT points!! I hope you get an answer. Maybe we need to email WCSD or MSP and ask!


Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 1:30 p.m.

Shocking headline.

Wolf's Bane

Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 1:28 p.m.

Ypsilanti, the jewel of Washtenaw County. How about adding a few more officers to the ever-shrinking police force, Mr. Mayor?


Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 1:15 p.m.

Perhaps the county can expedite applications for permits to carry for Ypsilanti residents.


Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 12:38 p.m.

Nothing startling here. The most impoverished, urban region has the highest crime rate. The most rural, least populated region has the lowest. It's what you'd expect.


Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 12:44 p.m.

Oops. Except, as AJ points out, Milan. They're an anamoly. Must be related to the girls-wrestling-in-kiddie-pool-parties the local watering hole hosts during the Super Bowl.


Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 12:19 p.m.

What the heck is going on in Milan??!

Atticus F.

Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 6:08 p.m.

Probably due to an overzelous police force. Drunk drivings, simple drug possesion, family arguments being written up as domestic violence, ect..


Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 1:09 p.m.

Don't forget that big Graffiti arrest...those kids probably did time.........and the firecrackers in the police building.


Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 1:03 p.m.

It's all those Jello related events ;-)


Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 12:12 p.m.

What happened to Augusta Township??


Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 3:28 p.m.

Actually it is but they have no WCSD coverage so MSP respond. If MSP actually did compile this report why don't they have their own stats for Augusta Township???


Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 1:27 p.m.

guess there's no crimes out there


Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 12:01 p.m.

This data is flawed, because the student population of EMU is not counted in the population of the City of Ypsilanti. The total population of Ypsilanti (City) is closer to 45000, 9 months or more of the year. Student population accounts for many of the police calls for service in the City of Ypsilanti. the dog

joe golder

Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 4:21 p.m.

23,000 students live on campus? Are we counting enrolled students? They don't count the rental units? They don't look at all the units in the rentals? Just curious?

Jimmy McNulty

Mon, Feb 28, 2011 : 11:59 a.m.

I like the WCSD, however I question the statement &quot;Sheriff Jerry Clayton points to the per capita crime rate as a measure of the agency's effectiveness.&quot; I believe he is referring to Ypsi city having their own police force as well as the highest crime per capita. I doubt waving the magic wand of WCSD would lower the Ypsilanti crime rate that significantly. The sheriff is not going to stop someone from robbing you as Clayton suggests, only you are your first line of defense.