Six weeks into the Shelter in Place order (SIP) and the Eureka Police Department (EPD) is as busy as ever. Self-initiated and proactive patrols are up 25% compared to pre-SIP, with an average of 93 self-initiated contacts or patrols a day. Many of these patrols include business security checks. Officers have learned which businesses are closed or have adjusted hours and have adapted their patrols accordingly.
Initially EPD did not see an increase in calls for service during the SIP; however, at this six-week mark, the rate of calls for service has increased slightly. In addition to the 93 self-initiated patrols a day, EPD has handled an average of 112 calls for service per day.
Despite the focused upsurge in proactive business security checks by officers, commercial burglaries (specifically the breaking of a window to steal goods while the business is closed) have increased about 30%. EPD’s Criminal Investigations Section and Problem Oriented Policing Team have been investigating these crimes and working diligently to make arrests while assisting businesses with improving their security measures.
Violent crime in general also appears to be trending upward. Most concerning and in line with National trends, is the increase in domestic violence. 21 domestic violence related reports have been taken during the SIP, which is a 50% higher rate than pre-SIP. Eight arrests for domestic violence have been made, a 30% higher rate.
It is important to note that EPD is still here and fully prepared to respond to your call for help. EPD Chief Steve Watson had this to add, “Domestic violence should never happen to anyone but it does all too frequently, often going unreported. Abuse is never okay but you are not alone. The COVID-19 emergency has not changed in the least how we will respond to and handle domestic violence cases. We will arrest offenders and they will be booked into the Humboldt County Jail.
If you need counseling, advice, emergency shelter, help with requesting a restraining order, or someone to accompany you to court, you may contact Humboldt Domestic Violence Services’ (http://hdvs.org/) 24-hour support line # (707-443-6042) or the Self Help Center (825 Fifth Street, Eureka, 707-445-7256). The Humboldt County Victim Witness Program is also another important resource (707-445-7417). For those experiencing a psychiatric emergency, help is available through the Department of Health and Human Services Mental Health 24-hour crisis line (707-445-7715) or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255).”
“Humboldt Domestic Violence Services (HDVS) is an independent, non-profit agency dedicated to promoting the rights and welfare of those who have survived or are enduring domestic and intimate partner violence or sex trafficking throughout Humboldt County. The mission of HDVS is to break the cycle of domestic violence, intimate partner violence, and sex trafficking through services, education, and advocacy. Our vision is the elimination of any kind intimate partner violence. We provide many services to survivors, all completely free of charge.”
HDVS’s advocates are available 24-hours a day through their Crisis and Support Line: 707-443-6042 and Toll-Free: 866-668-6543. This number is not “emergency-only” but if you are in immediate danger, call 911.