This cruel hoax was happening with some regularity about 6 years ago. It’s picking up steam, once again as of late.

It’s called “Swatting.”

”Swatting” is a term to describe the practice whereby someone calls law enforcement to report a hostage situation is taking place. The perpetrators of this despicable stunt typically enhance the “severity” of the reported event by stating that a murder(s) has taken place and a hostage(s) has been taken.

There was a recent, real-life example of this in Passaic, New Jersey. The phone call came in at about 7:00 p.m. this past Wednesday, February 23, 2022.

The caller reported that "he harmed his wife and child and had his neighbor hostage" (on Poplar Street), said Hector Carlos Lora, Mayor of Passaic, New Jersey.

In this case, it meant that a 95-year-old grandmother and another woman in her 60s had to leave their home on a very cold night so that law enforcement could do its job.

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The police have no choice but to treat a phone call such as this as being legitimate and they must conduct all of their proper due diligence.

This means that SWAT teams, hostage negotiators, patrol officers, detectives, emergency response teams, and more are put into motion. A parameter was set up. Police have to detour traffic, which the Clifton, New Jersey police handled in this case.

It disrupts in a myriad of ways. Worst of all, it utilizes a significant level of public safety personnel and apparatus and takes it away from any legitimate need that can arise at any moment.

Late last year, the Bergen County Regional SWAT unit, the Bergenfield police department, along with officers from neighboring towns who provided mutual aid gathered together when a phone call threat was made.

All of this law enforcement prowess was dispatched to an empty home, when a serious, (yet, ultimately bogus) phone call was placed about multiple shootings taking place.

It’s important to remember that making bogus police calls like this can create very dangerous situations. People and public safety personnel can get hurt.

It causes great stress for all parties involved. It’s done to harass people and to tie up law enforcement.

It is not a victimless crime. It takes law enforcement from potential areas of need. It’s dangerous and cruel.

SOURCE: Hector Carlos Lora, Mayor of Passaic, New Jersey.

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