Calls to Police Way Down But Crime Remains Constant

During the past month when many people were rarely venturing away from home, calls to the Montgomery County Police Department have dropped considerably while the amount of crime has stayed constant.

However, the kinds of crimes that are on the rise are different from last year, noted Capt. Thomas Jordan, MCPD spokesperson.

Because vehicle traffic has decreased dramatically, calls to police concerning accidents and complaints about speeding have fallen, he said.

Also with many retail businesses closing or open less frequently, calls to report shoplifting and thefts are down, he said.

Police are not receiving calls concerning suspected child neglect or abuse from school staff now that schools are closed, he said.

Overall, daily calls to police are down between 25 to 40 percent, noted MCPD 3rd District Commander Darren Francke.

But that doesn’t mean the police haven’t been busy.

Domestic abuse calls were up 21 percent last month as compared to March of 2019, Jordan said, noting that it is a consequence of people being home together more.

Also on the rise are vehicle thefts and thefts from valuables left in the car.

Too many people leave their keys in the car with the engine running or do not lock their cars when they park to pick up a take out meal they ordered, he said.

While it only takes a few minutes to retrieve an order, it takes thieves less time to drive away with that car.

Turn the car off, lock the doors and don’t leave valuables where they can be seen from the outside Jordan advised. “Take the extra time to turn off the car.”

While car thefts are spiking, residential burglaries are down, “because people are home,” he said.

To date, five MCPD employees have tested positive for COVID-19, two of whom are sworn officers.

“We have contingency plans in place in the event that a significant number of our patrol officers becomes ill related to the COVID-19 virus.

He would not elaborate, noting, “We will not be going into specifics due to the fact that it is law enforcement sensitive and related to operational planning.”

However, he said, “In a nutshell, we are looking at backfilling patrol positions with officers from specialized areas, such as detectives from investigative units and traffic units as just a couple of examples.”

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Suzanne Pollak

About Suzanne Pollak

Suzanne is a freelance reporter with Montgomery Community Media. She has over 35 years professional experience writing for newspapers, magazines, non-profit newsletters and the web.


One Response to “Calls to Police Way Down But Crime Remains Constant”

  1. Avatar
    On April 9, 2020 at 10:07 am responded with... #

    Thank you for this article. It’s good to know. I love in A MoCo city with its own force and I wonder if the trend is similar. I would suspect so.

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