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On January 20, 2018 at 0139 hours the Parker Police Department received a “swatting” call in Parker, Texas. An unknown caller reported that a person had been shot at the location. The caller reported that they were the shooter and that they had a gun. Officers from Parker PD and Murphy PD responded to the location and conducted an investigation and determined the report to be false and that no offense had occurred at this location.
Swatting is defined as a harassment tactic of deceiving emergency service (via such means as hoaxing an emergency services dispatcher) into sending a police and emergency service response team to another person’s address. This is triggered by false reporting of a serious law enforcement emergency, such as a bomb threat, murder, hostage situation, or other alleged incident. While these type of hoax calls have been occurring across the country for several years, live-stream gaming have these types of calls on the rise.
These calls place the police and our citizens in very dangerous situations. Police are responding to a potentially dangerous call and the citizens has no idea of what is happening and are unaware the police are responding to their address.
The Parker Police Department would like their residents to be informed about these types of calls and to discuss them with the members of their household. Parker PD asks that if the police respond to your address to comply with the requests of the responding officers. This will allow the police to quickly identify the nature of the reported crime, provide assistance when needed and safely bring about a conclusion to the reported incident.
Below is a link to a CBS News story where a similar call had a tragic outcome. The story contains information to help educate all of us on this growing safety concern.