OHIO VALLEY — While families gather and presents are unwrapped, there will still be officers on the job. For police in the area, however, there is a hope for a peaceful holiday.
Even during holidays such as Christmas, police officers Meigs, Gallia and Mason counties are still patrolling and answering calls. For most of the area, the day is another work day for law enforcement.
“We do the same thing,” Meigs County Sheriff Robert Beegle said. “Sometimes we have nothing, and it is relatively quiet.”
Beegle said area law enforcement are still on the job though. He said they sometimes see domestic violence calls around the holidays. They tend to be more along the lines of family arguments and not necessarily violence related.
Holiday stress and family coming together at Christmas can be entertaining when viewed in light of the now classic “National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.” It becomes no laughing matter when it causes problems that erupt into violence.
According to the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, “Domestic violence is more than three times as likely to occur when couples are experiencing high levels of financial strain.”
Due to the national economy and the local economy being what they are, there is a possibility for added stress this year.
“With the economy, we just don’t know,” Beegle said.
In recent years, there have been more than 20,000 domestic violence cases in Ohio each year, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence for Ohio. More than half of those cases required victims to use a shelter. For West Virginia, the numbers are fewer with under 15,000 domestic violence cases being filed for the year in 2010 according to the coalition.
Regardless, officers in all three counties will still be ready to respond.