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Monday, April 29, 2013

CNN's Wolf Blitzer and Congressman Mike Rogers, SWAT-ted

By Susan Duclos

The Swat-ting continues, this time CNN's Wolf Blitzer and Congressman Mike Rogers were the victims of the SWAT-timg.

SWAT-ting is when police are called with a fake report, usually telling the police there has been a shooting in the household, using technology to make the authorities believe the call has come from the residence being SWAT-ted.

Montgomery County police received an urgent message at about 6:25 p.m. Saturday saying someone had been shot at Wolf Blitzer’s home in Bethesda. Officers streamed toward the CNN host’s residence near Congressional Country Club. They set up a perimeter.

H/T Twitchy we see that on Sunday, SWAT-ting came to Congress. Via Wood TV:
The heavy police presence seen outside of Congressman Mike Rogers’ Howell home on Saturday night was called there because of an “unfortunate prank,” the congressman said in a statement.
The Livingston County Sheriff’s Department told Lansing affiliate WILX that it was “a high-priority situation.” Police cleared the scene by 10:45 p.m. Saturday.

Washington Post reports: Earlier this month, the place was Beverly Hills and the target was “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest. The caller told police armed men were trying to break into Seacrest’s place; officers arrived to find nothing amiss. In March, it was Brian Krebs, an Internet security writer and former Washington Post reporter. The caller said Russians had broken in and killed Krebs’s wife. Fairfax County police, weapons drawn, handcuffed Krebs before they learned the report was a sham.

Twitchy reminds readers of other previous SWAT-ting incidents:

 Other conservatives who have been SWAT-ted:  Erik RushAaron Walker, and Erick Erickson.

The problem, including the wasted resources which could be spent on investigating and responding to real crimes, has gotten to the point that over 80 members of the United States House of Representatives sent a letter to Attorney General Holder asking for an investigation, back in June of 2012.

Police and emergency communications specialists said the costs of such hoaxes can be tremendous. Scrambling teams of officers can waste tens of thousands of dollars worth of police time, and there are dangers inherent in speeding toward a would-be crime scene or confronting an unsuspecting, albeit innocent, suspect.

“If somebody’s shot, we believe they’re dead or could be dead, we have to get there fast,”  Montgomery Police Capt. Paul Starks said. “People are responding with lights and sirens, so there’s the potential for danger there.”

Moreover, he said, “you’re diverting resources that might otherwise . . . go elsewhere to respond and resolve an actual emergency.”

 No word on whether Holder has actually taken action on the investigation members of Congress requested.