Local law enforcement experiencing less 911 calls amid COVID-19 outbreak

NOW: Local law enforcement experiencing less 911 calls amid COVID-19 outbreak

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Law enforcement agencies are experiencing less calls after coronavirus stay at home orders came into effect, but experts say there is still crime happening, just behind closed doors.

Milwaukee’s Office of Violence Prevention says coronavirus and crime numbers correspond to each other. As the number of COVID-19 cases increase in the city, the number of reported crime has gone down.

Ever since COVID-19 hit Milwaukee County, in just a week’s time Milwaukee police calls for service have gone down significantly.

“On March 15th according to the Milwaukee Police Department data on their crime statistics website on that date there were 382 calls for service,” said Reggie Moore, Director of the City of Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention. “By the 22nd those have reduced to less than 120.”

The decrease in crime isn’t unique to Milwaukee County. Some areas south of Milwaukee, including Kenosha County are experiencing lower jail bookings.

“Probably booking between 15 and 20 people into the jail prior to the outbreak and now we’re probably doing less than 5 a day,” said Sgt. David Wright with the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department.

Even with reported crimes down, county leaders are now facing a new problem, an increase in domestic violence cases.

”We understand that calls for domestic violence seem to be going up and that is something that we’re working with our community partners to address,” said Moore.

Moore is referring to community partners like Milwaukee’s Sojourner Family Peace Center.

“We have been hearing from our law enforcement partners, and our hotline has been getting more calls,” said Carmen Pitre, President and CEO of Sojourner Family Peace Center.

The organization says uncertain times and unemployment numbers through the roof may come with long term, mental health and safety ramifications.

“If you look at the circumstance we’re in it just creates more opportunity for people to be trapped in violence,” adds Pitre.

The advocacy group provides a hotline, supplies and a safe place for domestic violence victims to go.

“You can get out of this, you have the right to get out and there are people that will help you,” said Pitre. “I think is extremely critical at this point in time they know that.”

Pitre says if you know someone who may be in a domestic violence situation check in on them and make sure they know you’re there.

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