Letter to the Editor

Swatting

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

The subtitle of your recent front page story told it all: "Fraudulent 'swatting' calls result in downtown tension." Such a byline should send chills down the collective spines of all law-abiding citizens of Spencer. Akin to the prohibition on shouting "Fire!" in a crowded movie theater, this "game" seems to be a challenge to, or sick prank of, so far nameless individuals devoid of common sense and likely a whole lot more. Do they realize that cities who are victimized in this fashion have the right to exact thousands of dollars in fines on the perpetrators? It can be worse. Gamers can be charged with conspiracy to provide false information and reckless endangerment. If convicted, the individual(s) could incur a prison term of up to 25 years. Yikes!

One of the takeaways from this incident is that making a false report to law enforcement hardly qualifies as a "game. No generalizations meant, but "Get a life!" Surely you have other things to do with your time that don't endanger others or frivolously spend the taxpayer's money. Perhaps once the identities of the offenders are learned, their consequence could be something creative, like having to stand on a local street corner wearing a sign with a message such as "I'm standing here because I didn't use my head. Maybe if the duration of the sentence were daily, for two hours, for 60 consecutive days, fewer folks would see the offense as no big deal. We can only hope.

Bill Kersting, Spencer