Useless information being provided by Realtors, business as usual. I know they legally they aren't supposed to say anything (which I think is BS), yet there is no shortage of realtors that will bend rules when it suits them.
Forget going to the police station and hanging out at meetings, that's not an efficient use of your time. You can find all the info you need for this and surround cities by going here: http://www.city-data.com/city/Hazel-Park-Michigan.html
The one good suggestion that has been made: When you're looking at the your house, don't be shy about going up to the neighbors who are outside and asking them how they feel about the area, the percentage of renters, etc.
My personal opinion: This area is reasonably safe, particularly the areas further north of 8-mile. The crime here is mostly limited to minor property crime and some auto theft, and because it's such a small community, I think the index make it look worse than is. The area overall reputation of the city could be better, but from talking to about 10 people I know who live here currently and say they are happy and feel the reputation is not deserved. Additionally, I talked to the neighbors in the houses I was considering in that area, and they said there were few incidents. As I mentioned before, areas can change rapidly a couple blocks over and definitely on the Detroit border. I don't have kids, but from what I've heard the school system is average. Functionally, there is no difference between the north end up Hazel Park and the areas south of Lincoln Ave in Madison Heights (even the price difference in the homes in negligible in most cases). I live in MH now, and have canvas these areas extensively.... more