Authorities link heat to violence
Officials say fighting is not gender-biased, nor is it race-specific. However, according to local law enforcement and one private practice counselor, it could very well be weather-related.
"People get irritable when they're hot," said Debbie Whatley, Licensed Professional Counselor and Marriage and Family therapist. "Some of these people have manual jobs. They're out in the heat all day."
Whatley teaches anger management classes, and she sees an increase in fights during high temperatures.
"It's a down time in the economy, too," she said. "People have lost their jobs, and you throw a few kids into the mix, add the heat and it affects everybody."
Local law enforcement officers agree.
"Any time the weather gets hot, tempers tend to flare and fuses become shorter," said Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper. "Fights – not only domestic – fights in general increase. Our business goes up."
Webster Parish Sheriff Gary Sexton said he believes the heat and economy take a "tremendous toll" on people's moods.
"People are spending more money right now on vacations and summer sports for their kids," Sexton said. "Financial difficulties cause more problems between spouses than any one single thing."
When summer rolls around, it becomes an extra burden, he pointed out.
"Between that and the heat, it causes a change in behavior," Sexton said.