When people started staying at home because of COVID-19 in March, Watertown city police received a lot fewer number of police calls.
But as the weather has gotten better and the coronavirus pandemic went on, city police once again got busy with the same type of calls they’ve received in the past.
During a budget session last week, Police Chief Charles P. Donoghue told City Council members that the volume of police calls were back to normal.
In recent weekends, crime was up in the city, with reports of domestic incidents, assaults and overdoses on the rise from what happened back in March.
“It’s back to normal with arrests,” the police chief said.
For the first three weeks of May this year, city police went on 2,545 police calls, compared to 2,553 for the same period last year.
During the first few weeks of the self-isolation, police were called significantly less than at the same time in 2019, Detective Lt. Joseph R. Donoghue Sr. said.
City police were called out on 2,054 “Blotter calls” from March 1 until April 3 this year, down from 2,317 — or 263 fewer calls — for the same time period in 2019.
“It’s getting back to where it was,” Detective Donoghue said.
He speculated that the nicer weather and people getting out more for the reason in the spike of police calls. People were staying at home earlier during the pandemic, he said.
Even with the recent increase, he noticed there haven’t been too many felonies or serious crimes committed in Watertown during the pandemic. He could only recall one incident during the past few weeks — a possible robbery in which the victim was injured. The recent incident remains under investigation, he said.
But the trend of more police calls could continue this Memorial Day weekend, with the daytime temperatures in the upper 70s and sunny weather through Monday.
“We can be busy,” he said, adding that Memorial Day weekend typically has its share of incidents.