BUTTE - Butte police have about 2,600 fewer 911 calls in 2020 than they did in 2019.
“Which is a good thing to a point, but it also indicates our community has slowed down a little bit,” said Butte Undersheriff George Skuletich.
Police had just under 30,000 calls for service and police suspect the pandemic played a large part in limiting activities in Butte.
“People are not out and about as much as they used to be. Our tourists were way down this year as well as our festivals, and St. Patrick’s Day and all that, we didn’t have those this year,” said Skuletich.
Arrests for DUIs and domestic violence were also lower in 2020.
The department also had some officers test positive for Covid-19 or quarantine due to being a close contact.
“Luckily for us, it hasn’t it us all at once. It’s been coming in in waves a couple every week, so that allows us to move our manpower around and try to handle it that way,” said Skuletich.
And while arrests have been down this year that’s mainly because they can’t put more inmates in the Butte Detention Center due to a backlog of prisoners waiting to go to the Montana State Prison.
“So we have inmates sitting in our jail for a year, year and a half , so it’s difficult; there’s no outside yard, no activities, no schooling, no counseling services. Especially with COVID, we don’t have any outside services coming in for the inmates because of COVID,” said the undersheriff.