Police see spike in activity during hotter months

Published 6:03 pm Friday, June 13, 2008

As the temperatures heat up during the summertime, so do the number of incidents for local law enforcement.

Clanton Police Chief James Henderson said his department usually sees about a 15 to 20 percent increase in the number of incidents, but this year hasn’t been as much.

“Most of the time, we usually see a spike when we see hotter weather,” Henderson said. “There are usually more people out, and tempers flare up a little bit more.”

Jemison usually sees its workload double from cold weather to hot weather. In 2007, the Police Department had 35 crimes reported in January while 56 crimes were reported July. Its total number of arrests increased from 22 to 49 from January to July, the total number of accidents doubled and citations were also up 125 percent.

“In the 14 years I’ve been working in law enforcement, you usually see your workload double when you hit May, and it won’t go back down until after Halloween,” said Jemison Police Chief Brian Stilwell. “We see more of everything – DUIs, domestic violence, burglaries and thefts. There’s just more people out and about during the summer.”

Typically, Clanton police usually see more drinking and driving along with fighting.

“There isn’t usually more domestic violence, but there’s just a lot more fighting,” Henderson said. “When the hot weather hits, it just seems like there are just more fights, and we see a lot more drunks on the road.”

One area that Jemison sees its biggest spike is in juvenile activity. Stilwell attributes that to the fact that kids aren’t in school and are at home alone.

“There’s just not much for a kid to do in Chilton County over the summer,” Stilwell said. “So they are more willing to try something they wouldn’t normally do.”

While crime tends to increase in the summer, Stilwell doesn’t think it is specifically heat related.

“It just has to do with people getting outside more when the weather heats up. When there’s more activities especially when it involves alcohol, it just causes more incidents,” he said.