LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Lansing police responded to a call of a shooting on Thursday but found nothing but a confused homeowner when they get there.
Fake calls like this one Lansing police responded to aren’t anything new, but the FBI is reporting an increase in what they call SWAT calls.
SWAT calls are simply people calling in fake scenarios to the police in hopes of causing chaos at the victim’s house, in some cases police respond with heavy force creating potentially deadly situations
Thursday night, Lansing police responded to a call where the alleged caller claimed they killed a girl. Police responded with heavy force due to the nature of the call but quickly figured out it was a hoax
In some cases, fake calls like this have even lead to the death of the homeowner.
“Maybe we have to force emergency entree into that house base on the call that is coming in or still coming in. And we might end up accidentally not intentionally causing injury to someone inside or damage to their property,” said LPD captain Christopher Baldwin.
Baldwin says the danger of getting swatted ultimately falls on the homeowners and fake calls take essential units off the street for those who may need them.
“It takes all the resources and especially a call like we had last night on Rayburn. Where it was called in that somebody was dead. It took all the resources of basically the entire department to try to deal with that call immediately to make sure people were safe,” said Baldwin.
Although a false call sounds harmless enough, Baldwin says that’s not exactly true.
If you make a call you could find yourself spending time behind bars.
“For state law, if you call in a misdemeanor crime that is occurring it’s charged as a misdemeanor. If you call in a felony crime it will be charged as a felony. I believe it starts off as a four-year prison sentence,” said Baldwin.
Captain Baldwin says that anyone willing to make false claims like the one last night they will be charged to the full extent of the law.