Crime concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — While most people are staying home and listening to the governor’s stay-at-home order, criminals are still roaming among us putting themselves, and
first responders at risk.

News 2 spoke to a handful of law enforcement agencies on Good Friday. We asked if calls for service are up or down? How are arrests? Any crimes stand out in particular?

Gallatin Police tell News 2 that calls for service are down, but domestic calls and theft calls are up slightly from last year.

Nolensville Police say calls for service and crime are way down. Hickman County deputies and Fairview Police tell News 2 that calls for service are way down in those areas as well.

Spring Hill Police tell News 2 the number of traffic stops is way down. But the number of business checks by officers self-initiating police work has almost doubled.

Metro Police stats show a reduction in adults arrested, adults cited and juveniles arrested. According to Metro Police, from March 9 to April 9, 526 fewer adults were arrested than the month before. 258 fewer citation arrests were issued this month over last. And 75 fewer juveniles were arrested this month than the month before.

In Hendersonville, Police say that the calls for service are down. Det. Sgt. Chris Gagnon says that domestics are also about the same, though there are spikes in some weeks over others for no explainable reason. Officers are still working hard to keep the streets crime-free, but the strain of interacting with criminals who may be exposed to COVID-19 is weighing on the minds of not only officers, but their families.

“My wife has not been pleased with what’s been happening for no other reason than there’s a possibility of me having an exposure and me bringing it home,” said Gagnon.

Gagnon says there should be no crime since everyone is under a mandate to stay home, but that, of course, is hardly the case.

“You are taking stupidity to a whole another level. They are not only exposing themselves to the possibility that they will run into someone who is sick and will get themselves sick, but we don’t know if they are sick, and in some emergency situations we find ourselves face to face with someone in some really close quarters and absolutely no idea if they had contact with someone who is sick and that puts 125 officers at risk,” said Gagnon.

Gagnon showed News 2 a brief chase where a 19-year-old ran from the law. Dashcam showed officers arrested the occupants of the vehicle, put on handcuffs, touched exposed skin, and got right on top of the suspects.

As Gagnon points out, rarely in these emergent situations is there time for PPE protocol sanctioned by the CDC.

“Right, unfortunately, there are times if you can jump out of the car and put on a set of gloves, great, but gloves a gown goggles a mask and all that stuff on to make sure you are protected, that stuff is not feasible,” said Gagnon.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.


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