It's too bad if the only experiences Athens students have with police officers are negative ones. Sure, police officers arrest students on suspicion of DUI and issue citations for underage drinking, noise violations and being a public nuisance, and none of those things are pleasant. On the other hand, they do a lot of good in our community by helping those in need of assistance and keeping us all safe.
That's why it is disturbing that there seems to be a fake trend of 911 calls being made in Athens. Over the past four months, there have been six calls for large-scale emergencies, such as a car accident or an armed robbery, that later turned out to be fake. The most recent such call occurred Monday. They have all come from the same emergency-only cell phone that can dial no other number besides 911 and cannot receive calls. Police have to treat every call as if it is a real emergency, so they do not have the luxury of seeing that it's the same number calling again and ignoring it.
Police are not sure if this is just someone who thinks what he or she is doing is funny (it isn't) or if someone is trying to distract police so that they can commit a crime elsewhere with less chance of being discovered.
Either way, what is happening here is wrong. First, it's a waste of public resources to send police officers on wild goose chases. Second, having police officers on a wild goose chase makes it less likely they will able to respond quickly to someone who is in a genuine emergency.
Source: The Athens Banner-Herald, "Fake Athens crime reports: pranks or criminal diversions?" Joe Johnson, Jun 9, 2012