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Area crime scene really, really quiet
Roads being heavily monitored
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Call it the silver lining to the winter storm clouds and their icy wake - crime is down in Hall County.

And accidents are lower in number, area law enforcement reported Tuesday.

"It's actually really, really quiet," said Kevin Holbrook, Gainesville Police officer and department spokesman. "It seems like people are taking the Department of Transportation's advice and staying in."

Whereas daily briefing sheets on the number of stops and arrests can run a page or more any given day, the Gainesville Police Department mainly has been busy with assist calls and car accidents.

"They're doing a lot of welfare checks," Holbrook said. "It's normal when there is weather like this, that we see an increase in those. This is especially true when people are out of town and have (elderly or sick) family members here. They'll have us go check on them periodically to make sure they're not in need of any essentials."

Additionally, Gainesville officers responded to two weather-related traffic accidents Tuesday morning.

Neither resulted in injuries, he added.

Col. Jeff Strickland reported nearly the same types of call experiences for deputies patrolling Hall County.

"Today everything has been relatively quiet," Strickland said, around midday Tuesday. "The citizens have listened to the warnings. Traffic was very light."

Sheriff's deputies responded to nine car accidents between 7 p.m. Monday and early Tuesday morning. All took place after dark. No injuries were reported, Strickland said.

"They were all related to ice and snow being on the roadway," Strickland said. "Conditions are somewhat better than yesterday. I still urge extreme caution when traveling."

The county's only major crime incident took place Monday when four teens were charged with burglary after entering a South Hall county home in the 4900 block of Sunny Ridge Court, off Cash Road. The incident took place at 2 p.m.

While each department answered a few domestic calls Tuesday, neither reported an actual increase in the number of family violence crimes.

"That was one of the first things that came to our minds," Holbrook said, acknowledging that arguing families may be confined indoors during the storm period. "But we haven't seen any increase as far as calls, in fact there's been somewhat of a decrease."

Roads are being heavily monitored by police and deputies who stream updates on trouble areas to roads, public works and transportation officials, they said.

Both spokesmen anticipate traffic will increase as businesses begin to open again. They urge caution knowing the ice will remain as long as the low temperatures do.

"It's a watch the watch around the clock type of thing," Holbrook said. "We want to get to back to business as soon as possible, but safety is our No. 1 concern."


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