Policing amid coronavirus pandemic

Even amid the coronavirus crisis, local law enforcement agencies say things are ‘business as usual.’

“People adapt to this or don’t adapt to this… that will be the factor to tell us what’s going on with crime going up or down,” said Mike Moran, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

With streets quiet and people told to stay at home, law enforcement agencies say there’s still no shortage of calls and online reports for low-level crimes.

“We’re responding to just about everything we do every other time,” said Moran. “There have been some domestic calls, reported crashes, and thefts that occur.”

Moran says it’s too early to see if crime rates will decrease in the coming days, although it seems likely.

“There’s similarities in the past in the Gulf War, after 9/11,” he said. “There seems to be things that happen that appear to be going on with police activity during that time that may last a little while or may last longer.”

However, Moran says there are trends the agency is anticipating like a possible rise in domestic violence disputes.

“The fact is, when we do see family members forced to congregate a lot such as holidays, Thanksgiving, New Years, Christmas, you do see a spike with domestic violence,” he said.

“Just being prepared for if this were to go on for weeks, what the family dynamic would look like,” said Chief Scott Clauson, Medford Police Dept.

Chief Clauson says he’s thankful that at this point, things don’t appear to be going that direction. But in this ever-changing environment, he says preparation is key.

“It is a weird time and thankfully I can say we are business as usual right now,” he said. “We are just doing what we do best and that’s keeping our community safe.”

Both agencies are urging community members to continuing following the guidelines of Governor Kate Brown’s order to stay home.

Also, to make sure you report any low-level crimes to their online systems.

Click here for the Jackson Co. Sheriff’s Office.

Click here for Medford Police Dept.

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