BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Over one year, Birmingham police got more than 1,350 calls for assistance from 19 dollar stores across Birmingham.
That's nearly four calls for police each day.
"It's a challenge that we've had stores like that, to require a lot of manpower and a lot of response, police response," said Lt. Sean Edwards of the Birmingham Police Department.
An analysis of records requested from the department shows the most common reasons for a call to police were theft or unlawful breaking into a car, loitering, a disorderly person or fight, or a suspicious car or vehicle.
Far fewer calls for more serious issues included seven calls for an assault and 22 calls about a person with a weapon.
Some stores were the subject of more calls than others. Family Dollar on Jefferson Avenue had nearly one call every two-and-a-half days. Most of the calls were about theft, loitering, or a fight.
"It still pulls officers away when they could be doing more patrolling or more investigating or something else and so that could become challenging for officers who are responding to that particular business," said Edwards.
Edwards explained that police met with Family Dollar district managers in 2015 and separately talked with a couple Dollar General store managers. Discussion surrounded security and surveillance at the store properties.
"It appeared that everybody was receptive to what we were saying. There were some stores that made some adjustments and some stores that did not make a whole lot of adjustments," he said.
Across the city, more than 960 calls were made about Family Dollar stores. A spokesperson for Family Dollar said in a statement:
Dollar General was the subject of about 390 calls to police. A Dollar General spokesperson issued a statement:
Call records about four other dollar store locations at shopping centers showed more than 900 calls were made about these addresses in one year, but police could not specify how many of these calls were about the dollar stores or about some other store at the shopping center.