Private Study Finds Detroit Most Dangerous City in U.S

Posted on November 21, 2007 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

DETROIT — Detroit was recently named the nation’s most dangerous city, according to a private research group's controversial analysis of annual FBI crime statistics.

The study drew harsh criticism even before it came out. The American Society of Criminology launched a pre-emptive strike last week, issuing a statement attacking it as "an irresponsible misuse" of crime data.

The 14th annual "City Crime Rankings: Crime in Metropolitan America" was published by CQ Press, a unit of Congressional Quarterly Inc. It is based on the FBI's Sept. 24 crime statistics report.

The report looked at 378 cities with at least 75,000 people based on per-capita rates for homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and auto theft. Each crime category was considered separately and weighed based on its seriousness, CQ Press said.

Last year's crime leader, St. Louis, fell to number two. Another Michigan city, Flint, ranked third, followed by Oakland Calif.; Camden, N.J.; Birmingham, Ala.; North Charleston, S.C.; Memphis, Tenn.; Richmond, Calif.; and Cleveland.

The study ranked Mission Viejo, Calif., as the safest U.S. city, followed by Clarkstown, N.Y.; Brick Township, N.J.; Amherst, N.Y.; and Sugar Land, Texas. CQ Press spokesman Ben Krasney said details of the weighing system were proprietary. It was compiled by Kathleen O'Leary Morgan and Scott Morgan, whose Morgan Quitno Press published it until its acquisition by CQ Press.

The study assigns a crime score to each city, with zero representing the national average. Detroit got a score of 407, while St. Louis followed at 406. The score for Mission Viejo, in affluent Orange County, was minus 82.

Detroit was pegged the nation's murder capital in the 1980s and has lost nearly one million people since 1950, according to the Census Bureau. Downtown sports stadiums and corporate headquarters — along with the redevelopment of the riverfront of this city of 919,000 — have slowed but not reversed the decline. Officials have said crime reports don't help.

Detroit police officials released a statement disputing the report, saying it fails to put crime information into proper context.

"Every year this organization sends out a press release with big, bold lettering that labels a certain city as Most Dangerous, USA," Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings said in the release.

"It really makes you wonder if the organization is truly concerned with evaluating crime or increasing their profit," said Bully-Cummings, who noted the complete report is available only by purchase. "With crime experts across the country routinely denouncing the findings, I believe the answer is clear."

The mayor of 30th-ranked Rochester, N.Y. — an ex-police chief himself — said the study's authors should consider the harm that the report causes.

"What I take exception to is the use of these statistics and the damage they inflict on a number of these cities," said Mayor Robert Duffy, chairman of the Criminal and Social Justice Committee for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

The rankings "do groundless harm to many communities," said Michael Tonry, president of the American Society of Criminology.

"They also work against a key goal of our society, which is a better understanding of crime-related issues by both scientists and the public," Tonry said.

Critics also complain that numbers don't tell the whole story because of differences among cities.

"You're not comparing apples and oranges; you're comparing watermelons and grapes," said Rob Casey, who heads the FBI section that puts out the Uniform Crime Report that provides the data for the Quitno report.

The FBI posted a statement on its Web site criticizing such use of its statistics. "These rough rankings provide no insight into the numerous variables that mold crime in a particular town, city, county, state, or region," the FBI said.

"Consequently, they lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting communities and their residents."

Doug Goldenberg-Hart, acquisitions editor at CQ Press, said that the rankings are imperfect, but that the numbers are straightforward. Cities at the top of the list would not be there unless they ranked poorly in all six crime categories, he said.

"The idea that people oppose it, it's kind of blaming the messenger," Goldenberg-Hart said. "It's not coming to terms with the idea that crime is a persistent problem in our society."

The report "helps concerned Americans learn how their communities fare in the fight against crime," CQ Press said in a statement. "The first step in making our cities and states safer is to understand the true magnitude of their crime problems. This will only be achieved through straightforward data that all of us can use and understand."

The study excluded Chicago, Minneapolis, and other Illinois and Minnesota cities because of incomplete data.

SOURCE: Yahoo News

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Hobnob With LCT Editors At LCT-NLA East Show

The three-day event offers ample time for attendees to introduce themselves, discuss their companies, and talk about important industry matters.

Charges Dropped Against Chauffeur In N.Y. Crash

Carlos Pino was indicted in March on four counts of criminally negligent homicide, four counts of assault, reckless driving, and other crimes.

Techie Invests In Tesla Limo Service

The company has saved more than 11,888 gallons of gas and 110 tons of carbon dioxide in its nearly 217,480 miles of travel so far.

Arizona Operator Knows Quality Affiliations Take Time

The Driver Provider’s Mary Beall dishes out some valuable advice for building strong affiliate relationships.

NLA Supports, Celebrates Charities At LCT East

Early bird and group discounts end today, so don’t miss your chance to attend this event at the show!

See More News

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (0)

Post a Comment



See More

See More

See More

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - October 2016 $12.95 COVER STORY: * Leverage Tech To Levitate Your Operations * *


Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment



Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close