Michigan : Safety by City
- Ann Arbor
- Battle Creek
- Farmington Hills
- Flat Rock
- Glen Arbor
- Grand Rapids
- Mackinac Island
- Mackinaw City
- Port Huron
- Sault Ste. Marie
- Sterling Heights
- Traverse City
You can’t throw a stone in Dearborn, Michigan, without hitting something named after or related to business magnate Henry Ford.
This innovative and multicultural community offers more than just automobile attractions; the latter is definitely the biggest draw.
Dearborn is also home to a sizable Muslim population, with the largest mosque in North America.
The city also holds the only Arab American National Museum in the country.
As home to 110,000 people, Dearborn also needed green spaces, so more than 40 parks with numerous trails through different landscapes are available too.
The University of Michigan Dearborn campus and Fairlane Town Center mall also bring people to the city.
The city of Detroit surrounds Dearborn on three sides.
Despite all the innovation and high-tech industries, and education options, Dearborn still suffers from a nearly 25% poverty rate.
Dearborn Heights cradles the other side of Dearborn, with another 62,000 people in that sleepy bedroom community.
Dearborn is also less than 10 miles from the Canadian border and 25 minutes from stunning views and fun activities at the Lake Erie Metropark.
Warnings & Dangers in Dearborn
OVERALL RISK: LOW
Dearborn has a low risk, by national and Detroit standards, but by saying low risk, I mean an average risk. The city offers a lot of safe places to visit, but it also has some recent headline-making crime stories that every visitor should be aware of.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: MEDIUM
Dearborn has service through the SMART bus transportation system, which covers Detroit's suburbs, and routes 8 & 10 of DDOT, Detroit's public transportation system, runs through Dearborn. Taxis, rideshares, and rental cars are easily available. Riding DDOT could take you through some rough neighborhoods. Treat all options with a medium risk due to crime rates in Detroit.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
The risk here is low, with just three pickpockets or purse snatchings reported in 2021. 35% of all thefts are car break-ins, so always lock your car and roll up the windows. We have another concern about car crime to talk about in the Top 10 list involving air tags.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: LOW
Detroit gets wicked winters and severe weather threats starting in spring. Tornados are possible, along with flooding and severe storm damage. Extreme temperatures can happen in winter and summer. Dearborn does have an emergency management department to help you plan, as all risks will come with plenty of warning.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
The robbery rate is almost three times lower than it was in 2013, according to 2021 data. The current rate is also almost half the national average. 30% of robberies happen on streets or sidewalks. Treat it with a medium risk, as spillover crime from Detroit is possible, and there's a pretty jarring doorbell camera video of a woman and her children being robbed at gunpoint circulating social media.
TERRORISM RISK: MEDIUM
The terror concerns in Dearborn goes both ways. As a large Muslim community, there's an ongoing education to distinguish the line between Muslims and Islamic extremists. As Homeland Security warns in the Terrorism Advisory Alert System, Lone Wolf acts and hate crimes are also possible, on top of major attacks in big cities like Detroit. With all the concerns of a medium-risk city, there's a wealth of security. Visitors can help by following the "See Something, Say Something" guidance and reporting anything suspicious to local police.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
The biggest individual scam impacting Dearborn involves scammers who pose as government officials and ask for or demand money. No government official or law enforcement agency will text you or call you demanding money. Report any scam attempt to the police and attorney general's office.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Statistically, women are nearly 40% less likely to be victims of violent crime in Dearborn, and female assailants are responsible for just 20% of the violent crime. All the standard personal safety tips are important here, but those who follow that advice will face only a low risk.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The 2021 Water Quality Report for Dearborn shows full compliance with all regulations and no violations. Any water quality risks, like water main breaks or low-pressure issues, will be posted on the city's website and social media pages.
Safest Places to Visit in Dearborn
Look for tourism information about Dearborn on the Pure Michigan statewide travel website, the Visit Detroit website, or the Dearborn Chamber of Commerce site.
DowntownDearborn.org focuses on the city’s core and includes new businesses and local events on top of the list of hotels, shops, restaurants, and mainstay attractions.
There are several places to visit in Dearborn, including Ford or Fair Lane (Fairlane).
Fairlane Town Center is a shopping district and mall, and it is spelled as all one word, while Fair Lane is the historic estate of the Ford founder.
As of early 2023, Fair Lane, Home of Clara and Henry Ford, was under renovation with no set opening date.
You’ll need to sign up for a newsletter on the website to get that information.
You can also follow the Facebook page @HenryFordEstate.
“When complete, Fair Lane will offer visitors an immersive experience to learn the extraordinary story of the Ford family in the intimate setting of their living room, their dining room, their gardens throughout the estate.
This National Historic Landmark will serve as the platform for visitors and future generations to experience.”
The Henry Ford is The Disney World of the auto giant and innovator.
Four distinct locations are inside this complex.
Each one has a separate admission charge and hours, but you can also get discounts for multiple attractions:
- Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation: The museum is so much more than Ford products or history. It explores all innovation, technological advances, and human evolvement, including the bus where Rosa Parks refused to move.
- Greenfield Village: 80 acres and seven districts of historic innovation take you back to some of the most monumental moments, like Edison’s lightbulb revelation.
- Ford Rouge Factory Tour: The Ford F-150, as you’ve never seen it before, is on display here with immersive and augmented reality exhibits while celebrating the evolution of America’s favorite truck.
- Giant Screen Experience: This 4K digital system offers incredible revolving films of nature, space, and innovation.
Look for hotel specials with partner hotels to get discounts on The Henry Ford exhibits.
The Arab American National Museum should definitely be on your itinerary as you won’t find another one like it in America.
Tours, lectures, and rotating exhibits are scheduled throughout the year, but it is closed on American and Muslim holidays.
I think the museum’s mission should be shared in their words, “to document, preserve and present the history, culture and contributions of Arab Americans.
Our exhibitions cover the Arab world and the history of Arab Americans from the first immigrants who arrived in the late 19th century to today.
We offer safe spaces for open dialogue and community gatherings and provide educational opportunities for children and students of all ages to expand their knowledge and appreciation of Arab American history and culture.”
The Islamic Center of America has been evolving in location, practice, and following since the 1940s, but the current location in Dearborn was constructed in the 1960s.
Regular services are scheduled, and tours are available upon request, pending mosque activities and events.
The University of Michigan Campus in Dearborn (UM-Dearborn) has several places to explore as well, including an Environmental Interpretive Center, Rouge River Bird Observatory, and Environment Study Area.
Miles of hiking trails weave around the Rouge River, which is close to the other main attractions in this community.
Miller’s Bar has been a Dearborn staple since 1941, repeatedly winning best burger awards in the Detroit area and state, even making some national headlines and GQ magazine top rankings.
The service is incredibly simple and trusting.
It’s as basic of a burger joint as you can find.
You pay on the honor system, meaning you don’t get a bill from the waitress when you’re done.
You just walk to the cashier and tell them what you had.
Places to Avoid in Dearborn
The crime rates, risk, and concerns go up as you near the Detroit border, but for those just visiting the main attractions, there’s nothing to worry about.
Everything is along or just off the main road, Michigan Avenue, aside from the private golf courses.
Despite the low-risk neighborhood, that doesn’t mean you can or should let your guard down.
Some incredibly shocking crimes do happen here, but there’s no reason to avoid the great Arabic or Mediterranean restaurants that make Dearborn unique.
If you search news headlines, you’ll see a Hampton Inn staff member killed by a mentally ill customer, leading to a police standoff with the suspect.
This is not indicative of the Hampton Inn or the neighborhood.
It was a random act of violence, which is, unfortunately, happening too often in American cities.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Dearborn
- Dearborn does have its own police department, and even though Dearborn Heights seems like part of Dearborn, it is its own city with its own police force. You can find each on Facebook @DearnbornPolice and @DearbornHeightsPolice.
- All city departments give information for annual reports, which you can read under the Transparency section of the city’s website. While it’s disappointing that raw crime data isn’t provided, you can see the calls for service and types of traffic tickets given.
- Use the Crime Mapping section to search for crime reports closer to your visit. The interactive model lets you select the type of crime(s), location, time period, and radius. For example, if you want to know how many cars were stolen in the past month near your hotel, you can search that data and get a live map of the locations.
- Dearborn Police have seen a rash of AirTag placements on vehicles that allow crooks to track your location. Whether they try to follow you to the hotel or track down your car to steal it, it’s against the law to stalk people. When you arrive at your parked car, look behind license plates, or in your seats, and inside your purse. If you have an iPhone, it should alert you that an AirTag is following you, but Android users won’t get that benefit.
- About nine car accidents happen daily in Dearborn, according to 2022 data. Dearborn and Dearborn Heights are home to three of the most dangerous intersections in the Detroit area. Those are:
- Ford Road & Telegraph Road
- Ford Road & N Beech Daly Road
- Telegraph & Van Born Road
- Sign up for Nixle alerts through the police department’s website, so you’ll get emergency information as soon as the local television stations and newspapers. The alerts include everything from severe weather to road closures to crime scene areas to avoid.
- Mi Drive is the Department of Transportation’s website that helps you navigate the city. You’ll see road construction, live traffic maps, and accident reports. Waze is also a popular app in this city, with the Google Maps traffic layer coming in at a close second. There’s also a website called Dearborn Construction Updates to learn more about hyper-local projects.
- City of Dearborn TV (CDTV) is the public access channel that shares live and on-demand videos of everything from city council meetings to local events to history summaries. This site is a good way to see what Dearborn is like before you make travel decisions to learn more about the community when you know you’ll be visiting.
- As much as you need emergency notifications about severe weather, you should also understand how to handle the situation. If you ever need additional guidance, the Dearborn Department of Public Health offers information for extreme weather situations, whether it’s public health threats due to stormwater or learning how to avoid frostbite.
- For those who don’t know how much America is struggling with an opioid epidemic, it’s wise to read about it before you arrive. Dearborn joined a growing list of cities offering Narcan dispensers at the train station. According to the health department, everyone should carry two doses of Narcan with them at all times. Yes, even if you don’t do drugs. If you come across someone on the street or in a business overdosing, someone with Narcan could save a life. It’s no more complicated than a nasal spray. You are under no obligation to carry Narcan, and it doesn’t cost anything, but you never know when you could be in a position to save a life.
So... How Safe Is Dearborn Really?
Dearborn has a violent crime rate just below the national average and 33% lower than the Michigan average.
That’s according to 2021 data reported to the FBI.
One thing that is a little more concerning is that 43% of those violent crimes happen on streets, sidewalks, alleys, or parking lots.
That’s 23% higher than the state average.
34% of violent crimes are against strangers in Dearborn, while the Michigan average is 13%.
Dearborn is also seeing violent crime rates rise while having trouble recruiting officers to the city.
This problem is reported consistently nationwide, but more so in dangerous metro areas like Detroit.
On top of that, this area is seeing more officers becoming direct crime targets.
“While we’re facing an increase in violent crimes, an increase in violence against police officers, we’re also challenged in doing it with fewer officers,” said Dearborn police Commander Tim McHale.
Since it borders Detroit, you need to use common sense, situational awareness, and street smarts.
Don’t leave cars unlocked.
Don’t walk around carrying an expensive purse or with your mobile device in plain sight.
This is also a big metro area where you might see some crazy stuff happen.
In September 2022, a university instructor was arrested for drinking in a Jeep completely naked and touching himself as he drove down Michigan Avenue.
Is Dearborn the safest community in the Detroit area?
The safest communities on this side of Detroit are west of Stephenson Highway and north of Eight Mile Road.
How Does Dearborn Compare?
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Using information from the U.S. State Department and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, you can get updated information about the Visa and immigration process in America. A Visa Waiver program aims to help expedite the process without impacting national security. Since Dearborn has a large Muslim population, it's worth noting that many countries with high Muslim populations are not on the Visa Waiver program list. The reason has nothing to do with religion. It's based on terror cells and terrorism-supporting governments.
The U.S. Dollar is the only currency you can use here, and please limit the amount of cash you carry. Places like Miller's Bar are cash-only, so you'll need some cash. Just keep it well hidden and in small increments like $10 bills. Don't use public ATMs and exchange currency before you arrive to pay the lowest rates.
Detroit gets four robust seasons, each with benefits and drawbacks. Comfortable, casual clothing will play well here, and you'll want full winter gear to overcome cold temperatures. Summers will be hot and humid, with annoying mosquitos, so bring bug spray. Otherwise, various layers of clothing will work for fluctuating temperatures and weather patterns. As they say in the Midwest - "If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes. It will change."
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport is just 13 miles southwest of Dearborn. You'll want to take a car, cab, or rideshare to get there since there's no direct public transportation route.
Travel insurance will help cushion the blow of canceled or delayed flights due to weather or technical issues (both of which the United States has faced in recent years).
Dearborn Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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Michigan - Safety by City
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