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Reno Police See Decrease In Crime During COVID-19 Pandemic So Far

Red and blue lights flashing on top of a police car.
Aaron Anderer
Flickr Creative Commons
The Reno Police Department closed its walk-in services at the downtown police station to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Officials say calling the department is the best way to find help.

According to the Reno Police Department, the Reno community is experiencing a decrease in crimes in conjunction with the COVID-19 pandemic.

For weeks now, Nevadans have been ordered to stay home and nonessential businesses have been closed in order to flatten the COVID-19 curve. Public Information Officer Travis Warren with the Reno Police Department said they’ve seen a change in calls for service ever since.

“We have seen a decrease in crimes since the stay-at-home order was initiated. Individuals aren't out as frequently as they had been prior to the request to stay at home and the closing of the nonessential businesses,” Warren explained.

Specifically, there has been a slight decrease from March 13 to April 14 in violent crimes, including assault, battery or sex crimes. Last year, the department received 258 calls during that time frame and this year, that number is down to 228. There's also been an even bigger decrease in property crimes. In 2019, the department received 532 calls regarding property crimes during that period, and this year, they received nearly 100 fewer calls.

In order to mitigate the spread of the virus, the department has made several internal changes like requiring officers to wear facial masks while on duty and closing the downtown walk-in services.

Warren said a phone call to the department is the best way to get help during this transition.

"We have experienced some issues with individuals who don't have access to the computer or any [similar devices]. If that's the case, you can always come to the police station. We can try to help you as best as we can," Warren said.

Locally, multiple domestic violence nonprofits have said they are receiving a significant increase in calls for help from people experiencing violence in the home during this health crisis. In some cases, up to 50% more calls are coming in. Warren said the department hasn’t seen a spike in domestic violence-related calls, but said they are aware that this is a concern for the community during this time.

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Stephanie Serrano (she/her/ella) is an award-winning multimedia bilingual journalist based in Reno, Nevada. Her reporting is powered by character-driven stories and is rooted in sound-rich audio. Her storytelling works to share the experiences of unserved communities in regards to education, race, affordable housing and sports.
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