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Local first responders experience a decrease in calls amid shelter-at-home order

Posted at 5:38 PM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 21:45:40-04

Nearly two months after the shelter-at-home order was put in place, local first responders say the trends in crime and calls have definitely changed.

Prior to the March 16 order, dispatch typically received an average of 294 calls per day. That number hit a low of 171 in the weeks following the order.

According to Captain Jeff Smith of the San Luis Obispo Police Department, there are fewer transit-related and burglary calls but an increase in other crimes.

There’s not people at work, so we’ve seen an increase in commercial burglaries and we’ve also seen a slight uptick in vehicle burglaries as well,” he said.

The Santa Barbara Police Department also saw a big difference in calls. In comparison to more than 6,000 calls received in March 2019, the department received 4,506 last month.

The biggest difference, however, happened this month. In comparison to April of last year, when there were 6,183 calls, the department experienced 3,187 calls.

Both departments, alongside San Luis Obispo City Fire, said they have started to see the number of calls even out or increase in the last two weeks but they're prepared to continue servicing the community regardless.

“It’s a tough time for a lot of people but we are still here ready and able to come help people whenever they need it,” said James Blattler, the public information officer for the department.

Both the San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Police departments said they predict they'll receive more calls in the coming weeks having to do with complaints from community members regarding those violating potential changes in the shelter-at-home order.