Haddad said crime is down overall by 7 percent across all eight city beats covered by the police department. In addition, crime is down 24 percent citywide for the past four years.
That's good news for Haddad, who will celebrate his fifth year as chief of police for Dearborn in December. The former deputy chief of the Detroit Police Department was appointed to his position by Mayor John B. O'Reilly, Jr. in 2008.
Haddad credits the declining crime to several factors, including "a dedicated police force," and the department's award-winning community policing program.
"We're becoming a much more proactive department and we're watching crime trends closely," Haddad said.
One of the biggest advantages he said in recent years has been the number of residents looking out for their neighbors via Neighborhood Watch programs or just being more aware of suspicious activity.
"Citizen tips are invaluable when it comes to solving crimes," Haddad said.
Two recent examples involve the murder of Family Dollar store employees Brenna Kathleen Machus and Joseph Orlando in July; and a suicidal man who hid under a police car with a loaded rifle at the Dearborn Police Station.
"Both of these cases demonstrate the importance of working with our community," Haddad said. "In the Family Dollar investigation, we received more than 150 tips from our residents that helped lead detectives to apprehend a suspect.
"The community stands together to ensure that all of its residents remain safe," he said.
Retail fraud arrests down in 2013In response to some calls for more law enforcement presence on the street, the police chief said the media, in part, is to blame for the perception that crime in Dearborn is getting worse, not better.
"People are hearing more about crime because we're being more transparent with the media," Haddad said.
While official crime statistics will not be available until the state certifies the department's monthly report, one area of marked improvement is the number of retail fraud cases.
In August 2012, the department reported 220 shoplifting arrests near the Walmart shopping complex on Ford Road. Comparatively, in 2013, that number dropped to 191. At Fairlane Mall, the number of shoplifting arrests dropped from 242 in 2012 to 178.
The decrease is due primarily to a program implemented this year that requires criminals arrested for shoplifting to post a $400 bond or spend the night in jail and appear before the 19th District Court the next morning.
Another accomplishment has been the department's focus on decreasing the amount of police force to diffuse a crime.
"Using 2007 as a baseline measurement, the use of force has dropped 60 percent since I was appointed chief of police," Haddad said. "Excessive force is always cause for great concern. Nothing violates the public trust more than someone in authority who doesn't exercise good judgement."
Still, Haddad acknowledges there are areas the department needs to improve on.
"We've had a small increase in crime near the east southend of Dearborn that can be attributed to personal possessions being taken from unlocked cars," he said.
In order to combat that, the department has added extra patrols in certain neighborhoods.
"Citizens can help us by locking their doors, parking their cars in the driveway at night, and making sure their vehicle alarms are working properly," Haddad said.
Editor's note: A previous version of this story stated that Police Chief Ronald Haddad credited a decline in crime to an increase in concealed handgun permits. This statement was erroneous has been removed from the article.