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COVID-19 numbers have grown steadily in Athens for the past two months, keeping may people indoors, but there are still plenty of people in need of police service.

The virus became a local issue in March and for a few days there was a noticeable difference in the number of cars on the road and people out and about. 

"At first, we saw a bit of a decline in calls, but they came right back up to where they are now," said Asst. Chief of Police Rodney Williams III. 

This past weekend was largely routine. Shortly after 4:30 p.m. on Friday, several officers responded to a wreck at Texas Highway 31 West at Loop 7 where an 18 wheeler flipped over on its side. The driver was not injured and was soon out of the vehicle. Police were on the scene until the roadway was cleared sometime after 7 p.m.

From 6 a.m. Saturday, to 6 a.m. Sunday, dispatchers sent officers out on 22 calls. Some involved health concerns, others were to check out motion detected by alarm systems and possible burglaries.

On Sunday, there were 24 incidents where officers were dispatched. One involved someone shooting a firearm within the city limits on Prairieville Street. The officers informed an individual about the ordinance involving shooting a firearm.

"We continue to operate as normal, but we use precautionary measures," Williams said. "We are mindful of our surroundings in our dealings with he public. We haven't reduced our staff or anything like that."

A report on the national Police 1 website shows a decrease in the total number of calls received from mid-March, when stay at home orders began being issued around the country, onward.

The number of traffic calls went down during the period as well.

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