Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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June 12, 2014

Full moon, Friday the 13th: A busy night for police?

BLUEFIELD — Perhaps it is just a case of superstition, but area police dispatchers tend to brace for more calls on a night of a full moon. But what about a full moon on Friday the 13th?

Adding to the celestial interest is the fact that tonight’s full moon will be the lowest in the sky of any full moon this year thanks to the approaching summer solstice. And this is all happening only days after a rare planetary conjunction of Mars and the moon. But does it mean law enforcement officials can expect a busy day and night?

“Looking at the statistics, Fridays are always bigger to begin with and with the summer we always have a higher call volume,” Tazewell County 911 Director Derrick Ruble said. “But just looking at the statistics nationwide there is some correlation to that. We don’t know if people just believe in it and decide to do something or what. But at the 911 center we do see an increase in it (calls).”

Ruble said 911 officials do expect so see an increase in call volume tonight. But having a full moon on Friday the 13th is not the only reason why the 911 dispatchers expect an increase in calls, Ruble said.

“It’s Fridays and Saturdays in the summer — and school is out — so our call volume is up,” Ruble said. “It’s just a normal Friday or Saturday night.”

Mercer County 911 Director Bobby Hoge said officials also tend to see an increase in calls during full moons.

“I don’t know that we ever really pay a lot of attention to it, but sometimes people will mention it, or we will go back next week and look at it — and wonder if that (a certain call or increase in calls) was caused by all of this,” Hoge said.

However, Hoge said — full moon on Friday the 13th or not — calls tend to increase on summer weekends.

— Contact Charles Owens at cowens@bdtonline.com

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