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GRPD investigating recent ‘swatting’ calls at area businesses


Swatting is calling 911 to falsely report a serious crime creating a large police response

The Grand Rapids Police Department is investigating two recent swatting incidents called into 911 involving a hotel and restaurant.

“Both of them called reporting a person armed with a long gun, multiple people shot with rounds, shots still being fired within the businesses.”

A scenario Captain P.J. Bakers says fits the swatting definition which is calling 911 to falsely report a serious crime creating a large police response.

“Once on scene the folks that are working there, the staff or the patrons, have no idea why this largescale event, number of officers are showing up. So, it takes quite a bit of communication, creates quite a bit of chaos and a lot of fear that’s just not needed for anybody.”

Captain Baker recommends businesses review their emergency response plans and for the community to check in with reliable sources when critical incidents are taking place.

As for the swatting calls, Baker tells us the phone numbers placed to 911 were altered by computer systems.

Misuse of the 911 system and reporting false crimes are criminal offenses.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.
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