Uptick in domestic calls in Atlanta linked to COVID-19 impact

Atlanta officers responded to domestic calls at a rate 42 percent higher over the weeks covering the viral outbreak here and all over the country. 

APD analyzed the data and found what family therapists had been predicting -- tensions would rise as occupants sheltered in place. 

"We are seeing conversations that lead to arguments that we would not see otherwise," said Erika Shields, the police chief. 

Her officers reviewed eight weeks of data. In 56 percent of the cases, the disputes were between romantic partners. 

Commanders have been instructed to give officers a brush-up in training on how to deal with the calls. The chief said what may sound trivial has to be treated as potentially deadly serious.