Follow the WDRB Newsroom, Reporters and Anchors.More >>
Tweets from the WDRB Newsroom, Reporters and Anchors.More >>
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Police want to know who's making fake phone calls to 911 saying an officer has been shot. MetroSafe says it's happened seven times over the past year, wasting emergency resources and jeopardizing the public's safety.
"We do have people that call maliciously, or pranks or accidentally. Whenever we receive a call, that's dispatched just like we receive it, and it is up to the responding agencies, whether it be police, fire or EMS, to determine if that was a malicious call or an accident," said MetroSafe/EMA Public Information Officer Jody Duncan.
Louisville Metro Police have an active case right now. "We have been made aware that there have been several phone calls that involved a person getting on the phone saying that a police officer's been shot," said LMPD Spokesperson Dwight Mitchell.
WDRB obtained three of the phone calls in an open records request (click the links to listen):
On May 13, a male caller says, "Can you get me the police out here? There's officers down out here and he needs assistance, an ambulance out here."
On February 2, a male caller tells dispatch, "There's a shooting and an officer's involved. Can you get an ambulance?"
On January 28, a female caller states, "Well, there's a police officers has just been shot and we need an ambulance."
"We're glad to say those calls were not real but the fact of the matter is, when we get them, officers are going at emergency speeds, God forbid if something else happens on the way where somebody else got injured or something like that on us trying to get there --on something that was very bogus," Mitchell said.
MetroSafe officials say the calls could also take away from someone nearby who really does need help.
"If they're going to a false call, that means they're not making a call for service that is close to them and that could be a real emergency," Duncan said.
Unfortunately, some hoax callers aren't easy to track down because deactivated phones that only dial 911 are untraceable. Duncan says about 79 percent of their emergency calls are made from cell phones, and some are 911-only phones.
Police wouldn't go into detail about their current investigation but say they have an area of the city in mind.
"We believe those calls have been emanating in a certain area, the 700 block of East Saint Catherine Street," Mitchell said.
"Obviously, we want to get these people because obviously it's a very sick thing to do -- to call in fake calls like that, especially one of that nature," he continued.
If you have information about the hoax calls, you're asked to call the anonymous police tip line at 574-LMPD.