Craig Police Department sees service calls skyrocket in December 2020

CPD had 1,282 calls for service in December, up from 889 in December 2019 for a 31% increase year over year.

File photo

In 2020, Craig police officers saw the busiest December in calls for service in the last five years.

CPD recorded 1,282 calls for service in December 2020, up from the 813 recorded in 2019 for an increase of 31%.

CPD Capt. Bill Leonard believes the significant increase in calls for service in the final month of a busy 2020 likely had to do with some COVID-19 fatigue for residents, which increased stress and anxiety, leading to nearly 1,300 calls in the final month of the year.

“My best guest on the increase in calls is that it’s related to COVID, just due to the increased stress load on everyone,” Leonard said. “Life as we have known for a long time changed dramatically. We saw more domestic violence calls, disturbances, and other general incidents in December.”

Of the 1,282 calls for service in December, Craig police officers completed 70 traffic stops, had 87 agency assists, responded to 66 9-1-1 hang ups, 16 domestic violence calls, and 37 reports of suspicious article/person/vehicle calls in December.

Additionally, the department responded to 28 calls for service on theft reports, and 31 welfare checks in December 2020. Of the 1,282 calls for service, roughly 22% (286) were deemed computer checks by the department, which means dispatch was asked to run an information check on those involved in traffic stops, disturbances, and more.

The 70 traffic stops surprised Leonard, who said he was expecting those numbers to drop due to COVID with many staying home around the holidays.

“You would think it would be unusual, especially this year,” Leonard said. “I would think that our overall traffic stops were down for the year, but it is surprising to see those traffic stops still so high at the end of the year.”

In total, the 1,282 calls for service was the third-highest monthly total in 2020, and the ninth-highest total in the last five years.

Knowing just how busy the officers were and the challenges they faced out in the community with COVID and ever-changing regulations on how to do their jobs, Leonard said he’s very proud of the officers and the entire staff at the police department for the job they did closing out the year strong.

“We have been very busy, and the staff has been stretched thin at times,”Leonard said. “We’ve had call after call after call. I have to commend our staff. They have done an outstanding job, not only in December, but overall in 2020. They were able to manage their families and personal lives, on top of handling calls for service, while dealing with more exposure and having a completely different perspective on their jobs and what they could and couldn’t do.

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