Police see large drop in calls during coronavirus shutdown

Mar 30, 2020

Dartmouth police have seen a significant drop in calls for service this month as schools, restaurants and businesses closed their doors and residents self-isolated at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to statistics released by the department, the police have experienced a 50 percent drop in calls for service from the first week of March.

Calls for service include anything from traffic stops to medical calls, accidents, arrests, warrants and complaints.

The first week of school shutdowns saw a 37 percent drop in call-outs, with just 277 for the week ending March 21 — down from 439 calls for service the previous week.

This new trend continued last week, as police fielded just 247 calls in the week ending March 28.

The department recorded 499 calls for service in the first week of March.

Almost all types of calls appeared to decrease over the last two weeks of the month. The number of crashes, arrests, warrants and complaints, and incident reports all went down, with overdoses the only type of call-out remaining stable over the same period.

“There is a noticeable difference in call volume,” said Dartmouth Police Detective Kyle Costa.

Costa attributed the drop to the fact that there are fewer people on the road, which means fewer accidents, and fewer motor vehicle stops.

“We really haven’t had an uptick in anything else except calls for service in mental health,” he noted. “But that’s maybe just because it stands out more, since there’s fewer of everything else.”

“We’ve had a few complaints about businesses remaining open,” he added. “But for the most part everybody’s been wonderful. We’ve had very few complaints.”