Don't do it

Staff Writer
Wicked Local

As of now, we don't know details behind the hoax call July 20, in which someone threatened to commit suicide and kill police officers while pretending to be someone living in a condo in the 400 block of Great Road in Acton.

But there are some things we do know.

We know that for hours, people who wanted to go down Great Road, either to go home or elsewhere in town, were diverted, many to Acton Woods Plaza.

We know that some of those people gathered had family or friends inside the condo complex, and they were worried sick about what was happening there. (As a side note, we also know that gatherings like the impromptu get-together at Acton Woods Plaza are a fertile breeding ground for rumor and speculation.)

We know that Acton and State Police each had more than a dozen officers on the scene, and the police response included a State Police special tactical operations team (known as STOP, basically a SWAT team) and a State Police patrol supervisor from Troop A in Danvers. There were also firefighters and EMTs on the scene in case they were needed. We don't know how much that all cost, but we can guess a lot.

All this to respond to someone who called in a hoax ... for what reason exactly? What was the point of the call? Why would someone do that?

It's like people who make phony bomb threats, often to schools. They get nothing accomplished (other than perhaps getting students the rest of the day off, although that doesn't even begin to justify making a threat), cause a major disruption and get police and fire officials involved when they could be responding to other, real, problems.

And, oh by the way, making phony threats is against the law, and we doubt police look too kindly upon people who make them. And they shouldn't.

So if anyone thinks making a threat of some kind would be funny, it's not. Just don't do it.