FPD Interceptor (copy)

The Frederick Police Department emblem is featured on the side of an interceptor vehicle.

As the New Year rang in amid COVID-19 restrictions, local police found themselves responding to fewer calls than in recent years.

Frederick Police Department responded to 453 calls between New Year’s Eve and day this year, compared to 477 in the same two-day period the year prior and 630 in 2018, according to data provided by Lt. Andrew Alcorn.

Of those 453 calls, there were only seven traffic stops — a dramatic shift from 122 over the two days in 2019 and 92 in 2018. There were three hit-and-run crashes this New Year’s Eve into day, compared to one during the same two-day period the year prior.

“A lot of times we will focus our efforts downtown at the bars and restaurants that stay open late,” Alcorn said.

While police are not glad to see businesses suffer, the 10 p.m. closures may have contributed to less “shenanigans,” he theorized.

“With everything being closed earlier in the evening, it was like a normal winter night,” he said. “It was very much a mundane type of evening.”

For context, Alcorn said in the past there have been special traffic enforcement operations conducted on New Year’s Eve and into the following day. Some have been grant funded or supported by the governor’s office, allowing officers to be devoted exclusively to traffic enforcement. That did not occur this year due to COVID-19, Alcorn said.

Other types of calls for FPD were fairly consistent with recent years, though there was a noticeable uptick in noise complaints (an increase of eight in one year), fireworks complaints (increase of eight) and 911 calls (increase of 15) as 2020 ended and 2021 began.

The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office also experienced a decrease in overall calls for service. The sheriff’s office received 505 calls between Dec. 31, 2020, and Jan. 1, 2021, according to numbers provided by spokesman Todd Wivell. In the same period one year prior, they received 684. On New Year’s Eve 2018 into 2019, there were 579 calls.

The sheriff’s office conducted 25 traffic stops Dec. 31, 2020, and Jan. 1, 2021, compared to 165 in the same two-day period the year prior. There were 123 stops on New Year’s Eve 2018 into 2019.

Of this year’s New Year’s Eve and day calls, FCSO received 58 calls to 911, assisted other police departments eight times, assisted fire departments three times, conducted 34 patrol checks in high crime/accident areas, received six noise complaints, conducted 105 regular patrol checks, responded to 11 incidents of property damage and had 19 non-emergency requests for an officer.

Of the previous year’s New Year’s Eve and day calls, FCSO received 54 calls to 911, assisted other police departments eight times, assisted fire departments eight times, conducted 52 patrol checks in high crime/accident areas, received three noise complaints, conducted 106 regular patrol checks, responded to seven incidents of property damage and had 17 non-emergency requests for an officer.

For Dec. 31, 2018, going into Jan. 1, 2019, there were: 50 calls to 911, FCSO assisted other police departments 10 times, assisted fire departments five times, conducted 35 patrol checks in high crime/accident areas, received five noise complaints, conducted 118 regular patrol checks, responded to six incidents of property damage and had 14 non-emergency requests for an officer.

Follow Mary Grace Keller on Twitter: @MaryGraceKeller

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