Officials with the Surry County Sheriff’s Office and the Mount Airy Police Department say this year’s holiday season was a little calmer than normal, a trend they hope will continue into 2013.
While the usually-raucous New Year’s Eve celebration was hours away when making his comments, Sheriff Graham Atkinson said this year was one for the record books.
“It’s been unusually quiet over the Christmas holiday season and the days after,” he said Monday morning.
But that doesn’t mean there weren’t a few of the usual family squabbles that had to be quashed.
“Normally, Christmas Eve is really busy, most of the time with families who don’t get along having to gather in the same place,” he said with a laugh. “And there’s usually alcohol involved. While we had a little bit of that this year, it was much less than in years past.”
Atkinson said officers were kept on their toes on Christmas Day with a few domestic incidents — as usual — but they ran fewer calls than normal for the time of the year.
“The holiday season has been pretty quiet,” he said. “Usually, about the time we finish opening our presents we get geared up knowing we’re going to have incidents. That just didn’t happen this year.”
Police are busy investigating a series of vehicle break-ins, as usual during the holiday season, and Atkinson said one arrest already has been make.
“In terms of an unusual number of larcenies and break-ins, I think it’s been a pretty slow season,” he said. “Normally, we have a lot of home break-ins leading up to Christmas, and it’s not unusual to have homes with Christmas presents stolen, but so far we’re seeing breaking and entering incidents at about the same numbers as we see throughout the year.”
Erin Hiatt, a dispatcher with the Mount Airy Police Department, agreed with Atkinson, noting that the season has been “fairly routine.”
“We haven’t seen anything unusual or out of the ordinary,” she said. “Everything has been pretty smooth and we haven’t seen an uptick in any types of crimes.”
Atkinson said he hopes everyone is settling down for the new year.
“A lot of the credit goes to our guys who are out on patrol and know what to look for during this time of the year,” he said. “The one exception to that is the rash of vehicle break-ins we are investigating. They occurred over a couple of nights, and one arrest has already been made.
“Hopefully, this slow-down in crime is going to be a trend we’ll see continue into 2013.”
Reach Keith Strange at email@example.com or 719-1929.