Greenville seeing increase in crime as coronavirus pandemic continues

Updated: Mar. 30, 2020 at 4:54 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GREENVILLE, Ala. (WSFA) - Greenville is dealing with a recent spike in crime, and both the city’s mayor and police chief said the coronavirus pandemic is thought to be the cause.

Mayor Dexter McClendon said it began Thursday with a high-speed chase. There was then another chase on Friday, a home invasion on Saturday, and a shooting not far from the interstate on Sunday.

“That’s very unusual for Greenville," McClendon said. "We’re very proud to say we don’t have a lot of crime down here, but we do feel like that the virus is causing a lot of people to panic and do things and have more time on their hands, and we’re trying to do everything we can to take care of that.”

Police Chief Justin Lovvorn said the police department has had an increase in calls, but they are managing the volume. He said the department has increased personnel on shifts, while keeping coronavirus safeguards in mind.

“It’s a tough situation, but it’s something that we’re managing right now, and I think we’re getting ahead of it, and we’re able to keep everything in perspective,” Lovvorn said.

Lovvorn said officers have been issued gear to help protect them from exposure to the virus, and there are protocols in place for when to use it. He said the officers are also social distancing as much as they can when out on calls.

McClendon is asking Greenville residents to stay home as much as possible while the pandemic continues.

[Latest headlines on the coronavirus pandemic]

If you develop symptoms for the coronavirus and need to be tested, call 1-888-264-2256.

Copyright 2020 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.