How safe is your neighborhood? Can you leave your door open without worrying that someone may stroll in with a dolly and cart out most of your living room? recently rated the top 50 Safest Cities in Michigan and West Michigan was represented well, but not nearly well enough according to this author.

The list was dominated by suburban Detroit communities and I thought overall, West Michigan should have shown better than the four cities we put on the list.

The criteria, according to the web site:

Our list was compiled based on FBI violent crime stats and propriety research data.  Rates are normalized per 100,000 residents with the state average being 427 for violent crime and 2,044 for property crime.  This is calculated by taking (# of crimes/population) * 100,000.

Way too much math for me. I knew I shouldn't have blown off statistics class.

The highest ranking West Michigan city was Grandville at 15th. Grandville was only the second non-Detroit suburb to land in the top 20 (Lincoln in Berrien County was 8th).

...Grandville is home to 15,300 residents.  Part of the Grand Rapids metropolitan area, the city sits on the Grand River and is the site of the largest shopping center in the Grand Rapids Area.  The violent crime rate in Grandville is 77.2, and the chance of being affected by property crime here is 4.1%.

Then came Ionia, at 33rd.

...the city of Ionia is home to 11,300 residents.  Also the county seat, the city encompasses just 5.48 square miles and features the world’s largest free-admission fair every summer in July.  The violent crime rate in Ionia is 131.5, and residents have a 1.7% chance of being affected by property crime.

Grand Haven, in Ottawa County landed at 46th safest, and then came the stunner: ranked ahead of places i would consider safe in Kent County, like Ada, Cascade and Byron Center, came MUSKEGON!! What? Look, I know I'm biased (I had my car broken into three times while working there in the 90s), but I'm pretty sure even my Northeast side neighborhood in Creston is safer than Muskegon. So take this list with a grain of salt.