Wichita police: Reported threat believed to be ‘swatting’ call

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Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 11:31 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Wichita police early Wednesday morning responded to a call after a threat was reported. When officers arrived at the scene, they didn’t find anything and soon discovered that this likely was another occurrence of a prank or “swatting” call.

Police said Sedgwick County dispatch received a call at about 5:30 a.m. Wednesday about a threat on North Emporia. The call came from an out-of-state number through a mobile app. Police said the caller was uncooperative in giving information and when officers arrived and spoke with the homeowner, no threat was found.

Eyewitness News took the issue to our personal protection expert, Joe Schillaci, a former hostage negotiator and 911 center deputy commander. Schilaci said officers have to respond to these calls, even when pranks are suspected, but they also take up critical resources.

“Those same services that are going to a prank call could have been in service to go to a real call, a real heart attack, a real house on fire, a real person who is in dire need of emergency services,” Schillaci said.

He said incidents like what happened in Wichita early Wednesday morning can have deadly consequences. This happened with another case in Wichita from December of 2017. On Dec. 28, 2017, a “swatting’ call led to the deadly police shooting of Andrew Finch at his home in southwest Wichita. Wichita police do have a “swatting alert” form that people can fill out if they fear they could be the target of a “swatting” or prank call.

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