South Dakota has had its first incident of swatting. This weekend, almost two dozen officers responded to a prank call of a wounded person, hostages, and a bomb at a home in Ward. Swatting is used by video gamers, and their success is determined by the level of law enforcement response to a false emergency report.
Moody County Sheriff Troy Wellman says law enforcement agents will now have to use more diligence when responding to certain incidents. He suggests taking all calls at face value until officers can determine how serious the situation is, and hopefully make contact with someone inside the residence before dispatching more officers than necessary. Wellman says citizens can protect themselves from swatting.
“Keep what information you’re giving out to a minimum. You can have your screen name or whatever, but somebody starts asking for your address or your first name or whatever, just be cautious of that. Make sure you’re aware of what you and/or your kids are putting out for people to obtain. And then, certainly not participating in any swatting events,” Wellman says.
Wellman says swatting can result in the death of innocent people if they’re trying to protect their homes when officers are entering to investigate serious calls.