By DeVinnia Moore
Living in The Ledge staff reporter
Ever wondered if you could trust the police and your neighbors to keep your community safe? Well if you live in Grand Ledge you’re in luck!
“I feel safe knowing I can do my morning jog before the sun rises,” said John Clark, resident of Grand Ledge.
Clark moved from East Lansing to Grand Ledge in 2010. He has yet to experienced any break-ins, thief or violent crimes in his five years of residency.
According to NeighborhoodScout.com, Grand Ledge is 57 percent safer than other cites in the United States.
“We were just listed as number 40 of 50 safest cities in Michigan,” City Administrator Adam Smith said.
Annually, 118 crimes are reported per 1,000 residents. Out of that, seven are violent crimes, 111 are property crimes. Although no crime is a good crime, property crimes take away the material things, violent crimes result in high murder rates. In previous years there as been zero murders reported, according to CityData.com.
With a population of almost 8,000, Grand Ledge is one of the safest cities in Michigan, according to safewise.com.
“Grand Ledge is very small and we plan to grow, if a city doesn’t grow, it will fail,” Grand Ledge Mayor Kalmin Smith said.
Adam Smith said the city is pleased to receive recognition from Safe Wise. By observing other top safe cities that were listed, this gives Grand Ledge the opportunity to consider the same practices. Hopefully, this will give the city a chance to grow. Staying one of the safest cities in Michigan will increase the population.
“No city is perfect, there are crimes reported,” said Chief of Police Martin Underhill.
“Property crimes are the most reported crimes in Grand Ledge,” police Lt. Chris Blievernicht said.
“The police department and the community are a partnership, it takes the interest of the community,” Underhill said.
Experts agree that Grand Ledge’s numbers are very favorable.
“Grand Ledge is a very safe community,” said Edmund McGarrell, Michigan State University professor.
McGarrell is a criminal justice professor at Michigan State University. McGarrell is also an expert on community policing, violent crime, environmental crime, juvenile crime, and police intelligence.
So what is it that keeps Grand Ledge safe?
“Primarily the local residents. Neighborhoods where people look out of one another tend to be the safest,” McGarrell said.
One way for residents to communicate with the police is keeping them aware of anything suspicious. Underhill and Blievernicht agree that the residents are not afraid to call at the least bit of suspicion.
“People who look out for one another, intervene when they see something suspicious or troublesome, and report crimes to the police,” McGarrell said.
Another way is creating a neighborhood watch. According to the Grand Ledge website, in order to create a neighborhood watch, a resident just has to call the Police Department. From there, an officer will help the resident get started.
“There isn’t a neighborhood watch program in my neighborhood, but I wouldn’t mind starting one in order to keep my community safe,” Clark said.
Although Google can be a great resource on choosing a safe neighborhood, McGarrell gave expert advice on how to be more hands on.
“You can also look around at how local residents take care of their homes, yards, street blocks and parks,” said McGarrell “Get to know neighbors, look out for one another, speak up if something doesn’t look right, and call the police when trouble occurs.”
“These days most police departments provide crime statistics in a format that allows citizens to compare crime levels across communities and across different neighborhoods within communities,” McGarrell said.
For more information on the crime in Grand Ledge, explore CityData.com.