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Police

Posted on: August 10, 2018

Officers Respond to Prank Calls

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On Wednesday August 8, 2018, the Jackson Police Department responded to several prank calls regarding serious crimes within the town.

Prank calls are a waste of resources and taxpayer money.  But prank calls involving serious violent calls, commonly known as “Swatting”, are also very dangerous for both the public and the responding officers because we respond differently to these types of crimes.

Unlike non-emergent calls, when we respond to a call where there is believed to be a threat to human life; Police officers are trained and equipped to respond with lights and sirens, at higher speeds, interrupt and block traffic, and in the case of reported violent crimes, approached with drawn weapons.  As you might suspect, this type of response comes with higher risks.  Even with the best training and equipment, there’s a lot that can go wrong, and people can get hurt.

For this reason, false reporting of a crime is a very serious crime, with very serious penalties.  Beyond the civil penalties, persons making false reports of a crime can face up to a $5000 fine and up to 5 years in prison if someone is injured because of a false call.

On Wednesday, after dispatch received the first emergency call, officers responded swiftly and decisively to the call.  But stood down just as quickly once it was discovered there was no immediate danger.  When the next emergency call came in, officers once again responded with the same speed and determination; because the call could have been real, the call could have been a diversion for another crime in another part of town, or the call could have been a fake.  Either way, we don’t have the luxury of not responding as if it were the real thing, because precious seconds and weak determination can cost lives.  And we can’t afford to be lulled into not believing a call because of the others which came before it like the little boy who cried wolf, for the same reason.

But we’re also pretty bright and catch on fast.  Officers were stationed throughout the town, so we could react faster and determine the validity of the call as fast as possible.  After the first couple of calls we assumed they would continue and a Nixle message was sent out to advise the public and ask for assistance from the public.

 The calls finally stopped.  Gratefully, no one was injured.

But the investigation into the incident and who had made the fraudulent calls is on-going.  If you have any information regarding these calls and the person who made them, please call the PD and speak to an investigator.

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