Is Coronavirus lowering crime rates in the metro?

WEST FARGO, N.D. (KVLY) Despite many working and learning from home and no longer out in the community, local law enforcement say it's business as usual for them.

“It's pretty much right on track with the same types of calls that we were at last year. So, there really hasn’t been a change on anything at this point,” West Fargo Assistant Police Chief Jerry Boyer said.

Moorhead Police say their numbers of accidents, impaired drivers and traffic complaints are down, however their numbers of suspicious persons and theft calls have increased.

And despite many staying inside with their families, friends and loved ones every day, local police say surprisingly they haven’t seen an increase in suicidal persons or domestics.

“We haven’t seen that uptick yet, but the longer people stay at home, that could be a possibility. Hopefully the weather cooperates and people can get out and walk and get some of that energy burnt off," Boyer said.

All five local agencies say non-emergent calls are now being taken by phone as much as possible to respect social distancing.

“The types of calls where they’re more of a quality of life as opposed to a physical emergency, those are the types of things officers are taking over the phone,” Boyer explained.

However, Boyer says that can’t always be the case when it comes to emergent calls like yesterday’s suspected arson in West Fargo.

“In a life and death situation, there’s no time to stop and think. So, the officers just go and do what they’re trained to do,” Boyer said.

Boyer says if COVID-19 continues to worsen, his officers may have to stop responding to non-essential calls, like parking complaints, but says they’re not at that stage yet.

Moorhead Police say they're asking you to help reduce their call-volume as much as possible in the coming weeks to make sure emergent calls are getting the attention needed.