False reports

by Christa Lollis

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Calling 911 when you don't really have an emergency can keep officers from responding to a real emergency. And despite what you may think, making a situation seem worse won't get them to you any faster.

"Maybe there's a fist fight in progress and they may tell us that there's a gun involved or there's a knife involved and our response is going to be the same. We can't get there any quicker than we can safely get there so it's not going to make us get there any quicker," Sgt. Ronnie LaRue with the Lufkin Police Department explained.

If anything calling in a false report is going to get you in more trouble. LaRue says, "It's a class A misdemeanor to contact a police agency with a false report. It's also against the law to give a false report to a peace officer who's investigating any type of criminal activity, any type of crime and that's a class B misdemeanor." That punishment can be upgraded to a state jail felony depending on the type of false report that's made.

It's also a danger to the community. If someone makes a false report dispatchers don't know that and officers will be sent to the scene to investigate. "One of the biggest considerations that we face whenever someone calls the police department, we're going to come to their aid that's just a given," LaRue said.

Police officers don't want people to hesitate about calling 911, but they want people to only call when it's an emergency and to only give the facts.