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Chief Fed Up With Prank Calls

Twice last Tuesday 911 calls directed emergency officials to non-situations. One of the calls was made in error, but in good faith. The other was a prank.

It is that one, and several others like it in the past few months that has Booneville Police Chief Al Brown a little miffed.

After officers responded to South and Owen where an alleged vehicle accident with an injury was reported, only to find nothing, Brown started an investigation to learn the identity of the caller.

“We are currently working with the phone company to retrieve phone records, and we will be prosecuting the individual or individuals responsible,” said Brown. “Calling in a false report, especially with a personal injury can constitute a felony.”

Brown said on some calls not only have officers, but also ambulances and other medical personnel have arrived at the scene before the call could be reported as false.

Dispatchers taking the call report the call’s origination is unknown because it shows as “private,” Brown said.

If the number from which the call originated turns out to be a cell phone, Brown said, subpoenas will be generated for service providers to narrow down the identity of the caller.

Brown suggests that anyone who has any information about the pranks contact him at the BPD and “we will work with them.” Otherwise, once the investigation has been completed, charges are very likely.

Brown said the majority of the calls, which is about 10 and which have been spread out over several months, have directed officers to the same general area in the city but there has been one instance where simultaneous calls had emergency personnel in two different locations — inside and outside city limits — both for no reason.

“It’s reached a point where we have to pursue the person. We will get the records of whose number made the calls,” said Brown.

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