Traverse City Record-Eagle


September 5, 2013

Another View: No basis for local 'Little Detroit'

Naysayers who think Port Huron is on the road to ruin might be profoundly mistaken, but they have a right to their opinion.

What makes that view virtually impossible to consider seriously is their attempts to compare Port Huron to Detroit. The two cities have little in common.

Detroit is a major American city — Michigan’s largest — with more than 700,000 residents. Port Huron’s population is about 30,000.

The challenges the Motor City faces — a high crime rate, chronic unemployment and impending bankruptcy — are daunting, and they dwarf the problems of Port Huron.

Either an extraordinarily kind of ambition or profound delusion would prompt anyone to compare the problems of Detroit to those of Port Huron. Nevertheless, “Little Detroit” is a derogatory term trotted out whenever a horrific crime is committed or fears that Port Huron is a mecca for legions of the poor and destitute who migrate for its supposed wealth of services that assist them.

The latter is fueled with anecdotes and no hard facts. But Port Huron’s public safety is easily documented.

When it comes to violent crime, Port Huron’s rate isn’t in Detroit’s league. In 2011, the FBI reported Detroit’s had more than 21 violent crimes per 1,000 residents. Flint’s rate was more than 23 per 1,000 residents.

Port Huron had barely fewer than seven violent crimes per 1,000 people in 2011 — and the rate has been declining since 2006, when the city had nine violent crimes per 1,000 residents.

Battle Creek had 9.2 violent crimes per 1,000 people, according to the FBI. Lansing had 10.2 per 1,000.

That’s not to say Port Huron doesn’t have a crime problem. It does. But threats to public safety are far from the crisis levels Detroit and other troubled Michigan cities endure.

The first step for any community is to accurately identify the problem it faces. Port Huron appears to have a credible assessment of its crime problem and is taking steps to address it.

Text Only

Opinion Poll
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament