By Charlotte Underwood
JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – According to arrest reports and local law enforcement, domestic violence arrests have increased over the last month. Law officials believe this could be partly due to the viral outbreak that has everyone under stay at home guidelines. Some law enforcement agencies are reporting a higher number of domestic violence arrests than others.
According to Caryville Police Chief Brian Keeton, the number of arrests have stayed approximately the same without an increase. He did say his department had assisted other departments with domestic arrests over the last few weeks.
Jacksboro Police Chief Jeremy Goins said domestic violence arrests had doubled over the last month. “We had anticipated there might be an increase. We do our due diligence when we get the calls and inform the victim of their rights, and we do our best to protect,” Goins said, adding that “tempers can flare when people are in confinement.”
LaFollette Police Chief Bill Roehl said that while it was too early to tell how much domestic assault arrests were up in the city, he “wouldn’t be surprised at an increase.” “If people are put in a situation where they are around each other constantly, sometimes tempers flare,” Roehl said.
There were four domestic violence arrests in Wednesday’s intake report at the county jail alone.
Campbell County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Matt Wasson said that while numbers are up a little bit, “it’s not as bad as the numbers may appear.” This is because lesser crimes are being cited into court right now rather than arrests being made due to Coronavirus outbreak. However, by law, those who commit domestic assault have to be arrested. This means, whenever a domestic assault is called in and police respond, if an aggressor can be determined an arrest is always made. “We have cited a lot of people on lesser charges into court rather than arrest them, so it seems like we are making mostly domestic violence arrests but it’s because lesser crimes are getting citations right now,” Wasson said.
All of the law enforcement agencies wanted to point out that if someone is experiencing domestic violence then there are multiple ways to get help. Calling 911 is the quickest way, but if that “can’t safely be done right away” victims can call and report the assault as soon as possible. They can also go by any of the different agencies and make a report and request help. “If someone is involved in a domestic assault, they should call 911 right away or come by the police department. We are dedicated to protect and provide assistance,” Goins said.
Aside from the customary paths to take for help, there are additional options. CHET Family Services Center is a Domestic Violence program operates in Campbell County. Services include DV shelter; 24/7 Crisis Helpline; Court Advocacy; Victim Support Groups and more. Please call 423-562-8325 for more information or to make a referral. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/17/2020-6AM-UPDATED 1:30PM))