Many Domestic Disturbances Christmas Day
By: Carly O'Keefe
Jackson County, IL --Throughout the Heartland, many law enforcement agencies responded to a high number of domestic disputes Christmas day.
"I expected during the holidays that things would calm down,” said Jackson County Deputy Shauna Taylor.
This was Taylor's first Christmas working as a deputy in Jackson County. While she thought the season of goodwill toward men would make for at least a couple silent nights, which was not the way it worked out.
"I can see there's a pick up in domestic disturbances,” said Taylor.
Deputies say on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, about 2 dozen domestic dispute calls came in to Jackson County dispatch. That’s double the number on any average day.
"I think it's people who already have some additional stress going on. Whether you have bills they can't pay because they've bought too for much for Christmas or they can't buy their kids what they want for Christmas. I think people have a lot of stress around the holiday season because of that,” said Taylor.
Taylor says monetary concerns and being cooped up in the house all day can lead to small disagreements; add a few spiked egg nogs and a hot toddy to the mix, and a small disagreement can grow.
"It escalates, it turns worse," said Taylor.
All of those elements combined can also make for a dangerous situation when police come to the house and break up the argument.
"You find people who just can't control themselves. They’re so angry, and it'll be over something so small, but they're so angry and the one thing they don't want is to have someone step in the middle of a family dispute,” said Taylor.
But, according to Taylor, while officers must exercise caution in responding to domestic calls, they have to do everything in their power to make sure that what started as a small disagreement doesn't turn in to a crisis.
It’s our job to protect everyone, we don't want anyone to get hurt," Taylor said.