The FBI recently released its 2011 Crime in the United States report, which breaks down and tracks crime by city.
The FBI’s 2011 Uniform Crime Report (see chart below) shows that compared to 2010, Ferndale saw slightly more aggravated assaults in 2011 while other crimes such as rape, burglary, arson and property crime have gone down.
The category of violent crime in the chart below includes murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault. While the chart shows an overall increase in violent crime by seven incidents in 2011, the only category where violent crime increased is in aggravated assaults.
"Overall violent crime is on the decline, except for aggravated assault, and the raise in aggravated assault is really not that significant," said Ferndale Police Chief Tim Collins. "It's not like we have a huge problem with assaults. Over a year having 41 or 51 is a very manageable number."
Violent crime has gone down in all other areas (murder remains the same at zero). Property crime has also gone down overall.
"Everything else is beginning to trend mostly down," Collins said.
The downward trend is significant in areas such as burglaries, which went down by 62 incidents. "That's a pretty substantial reduction," he said.
As for 2012 so far, Collins said crime in Ferndale continues to be stable or trending down in most areas.
Collins said he regularly analyzes crime data including looking at specific types of occurrences in, for example, October 2012 compared to October 2011 - which he said can be more meaningful than year-to-year comparisons.
But looking only at the numbers "doesn't tell the whole story" either, he said.
For example, Collins said, Ferndale saw 16 burglaries/home invasions in October 2012. That number may seem high, he said, but two of them were on the same day related to a roommate dispute, several already have had arrests made including one that was an arrest in progress, and some involved vacant homes.
"The raw numbers don't tell the whole story," he said. "I'm happy with those numbers."
Collins said criminal sexual conduct is down in Ferndale by 50 percent; robbery is down 11.1 percent; and stalking is down by 7 percent. There's been a 19 percent increase in larceny from buildings but a 32 percent decrease in larcenies from cars.
"Most everything is stabilized or trending down. There's not a lot of movement on the increase in crime in town. It's really very stable," he said. "Basically we're very happy with our numbers and we keep a very close watch on it."
Collins also noted there has been a 45.4 percent increase in drunk driving arrests. "We're just arresting more drunk drivers," he said.
Moving forward, Collins said the department will continue to focus on keeping the community safe - safe in homes, and on roadways through traffic enforcement.
"We are always concerned about drunk drivers, always concerned about larcenies, always really concerned about the prevention of burglaries. And those are going to happen and we are going to do our best to investigate and arrest the culprits that do so," he said. "We are meeting some success and obviously our numbers are showing that."
Ferndale 2011 Ferndale 2010 Population 19,885 20,847 Violent Crime 82 75 Murder and Nonnegligent Manslaughter 0 0 Forcible Rape 1 3 Robbery 30 31 Aggravated Assault 51 41 Property Crime 597 674 Burglary 139 201 Larceny-Theft 381 379 Motor Vehicle Theft 77 94 Arson 2 5