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
Macomb, Michigan, is a county and a township on Detroit’s suburban “East Side,” even though it looks due north of the city on the map.
A township is similar to a town, which means fewer traditional city services and more countywide services.
This is just what a visitor needs to know since the township is very much a dense residential bedroom community, and exploring the entire county is where the real wonders come to fruition.
In Macomb, you trade the urban life of Detroit for open-air outdoor spaces and a boater’s paradise on nearby Lake St. Clair.
You can still get to Detroit in less than an hour, but it’s a whole different vibe on the East Side.
Clinton Township to the south offers a boundary ripe with shopping and dining needs, with plenty of hotels along the busy Hall Road.
The suburban nature extends to Shelby Township to the west, and Chesterfield Township to the east is the gateway to the lake and more outdoor adventures.
Warnings & Dangers in Macomb
OVERALL RISK : LOW
There's a very low overall risk with crime rates. I had to triple-verify because they are so low. Macomb isn't an exciting community, especially if you don't like golf or suburban shopping areas. You will find a safe place to rest and relax while exploring all Detroit offers and just 45 minutes to Lake Huron.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
You'll need a car if you want to do any kind of outdoor exploring here. Taxis and rideshares are available, with the SMART suburban Detroit bus system available along Hall Road to suburban cities east, west, and southwest.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
Here's the kicker on this for me - as a county with a theft rate 23 times lower than the national average, there were still five pickpockets or purse snatchings in 2021. What's more? The average theft was nearly $1700. It's a good reminder not to carry valuables or large amounts of cash with you and never to let a "safe" city cause you to let your guard down. It's a very low risk, but some more dangerous cities don't have that many pickpockets.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Check out the Macomb County Emergency Preparedness Guide to learn about the safety steps for each weather risk. Macomb can get severe weather and tornadoes in the spring, summer, and early fall. Winters can be snowy, cold, and downright blustery. Extreme temperatures are also a risk in winter and summer. Treat this area with a medium risk, but every major weather risk has warnings.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
According to 2021 crime data across the county, there's only a one in 49,000 risk you'll be robbed. It's a mindbogglingly low number, especially for a place connected to Detroit on a larger scale.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
While you're reading that emergency prep guide, check out the See Something, Say Something section to learn about vigilance against large-scale terror attacks and Lone Wolf acts. Detroit, as a whole, gets a medium risk, but Macomb wouldn't be a target. You also benefit from a lot of law enforcement security from a federal level to a local level in a metro area this size.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
The Macomb County Sheriff's Office posts regular scam updates and warnings, from specific incidents to overall safety. While most scams target residents, you should always be suspicious of anyone offering a great deal or pressuring you to make a purchase. Oh, and no - you didn't win the lottery for a ticket you never purchased.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
This township and county is a place where women can feel safe and relaxed. 70% of violent crimes, like sexual assault, happen in private homes and are generally among people who know each other.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
Macomb Township calls its water quality report the Water Connection. This document shows full compliance with all federal, state, and local standards, with no violations in 2021. As an added bonus, the report shows no lead found in tahr water, which is a concern in older cities nationwide.
Safest Places to Visit in Macomb
While the Visit Detroit and Pure Michigan have Macomb sections, they aren’t very robust, and my research shows many of the links don’t work.
Since Macomb Township isn’t that exciting, the site won’t cover the best things to do anyway.
Even searching for “Visit Macomb County” brings up a top result of how to visit someone in jail.
That said, I’ve done the digging for you to help plan a safer and more exciting trip.
For your own research purposes, Chesterfield, Sterling Height (the safest city in Michigan), Utica, and Warren are the biggest destination cities in Macomb County.
Macomb is a golfer’s dream come true.
While most of the safer and more affluent communities will require memberships for golf courses, this township offers three locations with public availability and no large upfront investment.
Even if a location is called a “Golf Club,” it’s still open to the public.
- Bello Woods Golf Course
- Cracklewood Golf Course
- Hickory Hollow Golf Club
- Bee Tee Golf Course
The Mall at Partridge Creek is technically in Clinton Township, but it’s on the border with Macomb Township.
Just 2.5 miles from there, more shopping and dining options are found at Lakeside Mall.
This corridor is where the hotels are located, too.
Use the township website and social media pages to get hours and locations of farmer’s markets, and there are seven local farmers who bring their fresh harvests to various neighborhoods.
The community also has two parks with easy trails, playgrounds, picnic tables, and sports fields.
Selfridge Military Air Museum is on the grounds of the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Detroit.
The museum is really an outdoor air park, with military planes and vehicles to view.
Since this is on a military base, you must get approval at least seven days in advance.
There’s a form on the website to fill out.
International guests need approval 30 days in advance.
Chesterfield Township, just 15 minutes away, has a great Historical Village where you can walk through historical grounds and buildings.
The historical society offers a virtual walkthrough on its website if you want to review it before adding it to your itinerary.
To explore Anchor Bay on Lake St. Clair, go 10 miles due east to New Baltimore.
The city’s website details this waterside community’s rules, regulations, and options.
Places to Avoid in Macomb
Since the city is so residential, the higher crime rates (if you can even call it that) will be along the shopping and entertainment district corridor on Hall Road.
You won’t find dangerous neighborhoods here or even dangerous border towns.
Once you cross over 8 Mile Road, about 20 miles south, the crime rate drastically increases.
To learn more, you can read our article “How Safe Is Detroit for Travel?”.
You might notice some negative comments about Macomb County, from it being a staunch conservative community filled with people who were part of the “white flight” out of Detroit to the suburbs to accusations of white supremacists and repeated mentions of the five people from the county who took part in the January 6 Insurrection.
Let’s fact-check that:
- More than a dozen people in Michigan were charged in connection with the Insurrection, at least three of which were from Macomb County.
- Macomb County leans conservative, with 53.4% of residents voting for President Donald Trump in the 2020 election while 45.3% voted for now President Joe Biden.
- Macomb County is 76.6% Caucasian, 13.3% African American, 4.6% Asian, 2.9% Latino/Hispanic, and 2.7% mixed race.
While the political landscape and a handful of high-profile news stories about individual cases of alleged racism won’t impact a tourist, it is helpful to know the undertones of a community you’ll visit.
Check out the One Macomb section of the county’s website to learn more about community efforts for diversity and inclusion while celebrating different cultures. This is also a great place to see a list of upcoming events.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Macomb
- Macomb doesn’t have its own police department. The Macomb County Sheriff’s Office serves it. You can follow them on Facebook @macombcountysheriffsoffice for updated crime and safety information. The department’s Instagram account has the same handle, while the Twitter handle is @MacombSheriff.
- The sheriff’s website has a link to Macomb County Crime Incidents & Sheriff activity, where you can see individual crime reports for the past week. The interactive map allows you to zoom in on specific neighborhoods or intersections.
- If you see any criminal activity, like the aftermath of a car break-in or drug deals, you can anonymously report it using the Tip411 web form or app. Even a safe community can use all the community help it can get to stay safe.
- The sheriff’s office wanted you to know that you do not need to (and should not) go to the station to report a crime. You can call dispatch if it’s not an emergency at (586) 469-5502, especially if you need an officer to respond. Deputies would prefer you wait where you are for an officer to arrive. No officers at the precinct take reports, so a patrol car would need to be summoned either way.
- You can follow Macomb County Emergency Management on Facebook @MacombCountyEM to get updated safety information about weather, infectious diseases, or other health threats. Modern mobile devices offer Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) to keep up with severe weather events, but you should confirm your location tracking is activated.
- Even with the lower theft rates, almost 30% of Macomb County’s thefts were car break-ins. The numbers are fueled by people who don’t lock their cars or even go as far as to leave the keys inside. Don’t let a safe community make you forget common sense. Lock your car, don’t leave valuables inside, and never leave your keys in there.
- Macomb County offers several fishing spots, including the popular Lake St. Clair Metropark. Anglers over the age of 15 will need a fishing license from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. You can purchase that online or wait until you get to town, as several sporting goods and big box stores offer them at the counter.
- Lake St. Clair is filled with water quality issues (and some other gross stuff), so swimming in it might not be the best idea. You can review the Beach Conditions during the warmer months on the county’s website, and the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services offers a safe fish consumption guide with a section on Lake St. Clair.
- No, Lake St. Clair isn’t one of the “Great Lakes,” but it does connect to Lake Huron and Lake Erie.
- Summer visitors who want to jet ski on any of the lakes must have a boating safety certificate IF they were born after December 31, 1978. The sheriff’s deputies do have boat patrols and not many other crimes to chase, so don’t take a chance of getting cited for violating the law.
So... How Safe Is Macomb Really?
The crime data from 2021 is the most recent available as of this publication, and it’s incredibly low.
For example, the average violent crime rate nationwide is 396 crimes per 100,000 people.
In Macomb County, it’s 39 per 100,000.
Thefts average 1398 per 100,000 people nationwide, while the number is 60 per 100,000 in this county.
The county has seen a 21% increase in violent crime since 2019.
Still, Macomb is really taking the violent crime bull by the horns, refusing to let ongoing rising crime rates threaten the safety and sanctity of the city.
While crime prevention is ideal, many American cities have an issue with caught criminals being released and re-released crime after crime with early probation or parole.
Usually, the finger points to prosecutors who don’t do enough to hold the criminals accountable.
The new county prosecutor isn’t going to let that happen.
“One with a gun gets you two,” Macomb County Prosecutor Pete Lucido said.
“Gun violence is out of control.
We need to do something about it.
This is the start that we’re talking about.
Let’s put it into action.
If the person has a gun on them, it wasn’t part of the crime when they stole the car, but having that gun on them means that we’re charging with felony firearm.”
Detroit has faced several years of freeway shootings, some with known attackers while others stemmed from road rage, yet several were random acts of violence.
The concern is along I-94, which is the main interstate from Macomb Township to downtown Detroit.
While you don’t need to avoid the interstate, it is worth checking before you visit to see how many incidents have happened recently.
How Does Macomb Compare?
- Visas - The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel is the gateway to Canada. International travelers coming across the border (in either direction) should check the DWTunnel.com website and the passport and visa requirements for each county. You can also use the smaller border crossing at Port Huron. Airplane passengers into the U.S. will need a passport and a visa or visa waiver.
- Currency - You can only use the U.S. Dollar in Detroit, despite the proximity to the border. For those who cross into Canada to visit Caesars Windsor, you can exchange currency at the duty-free shop at the border for low rates.
- Weather - Winters are very cold and windy, so layer up. Don't forget cold-weather accessories and snow boots. Spring and fall can fluctuate, so different layers of clothing will help adapt to changes. Summer brings heat and humidity, so be casual and comfortable in light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
- Airports - Unless you're driving in the middle of the night, the drive from Macomb Township to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport will take at least an hour, and you have to drive through downtown Detroit. Use the Mi Drive website to help check for delays, construction, or traffic along the route.
- Travel Insurance - Travel insurance is a smart way to protect your investment and be prepared for the unexpected without unexpectedly losing your deposits or airfare. There's too much disruptive weather here throughout the year to risk it.
Macomb Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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