Chief Says Large Police Response in Groveland Wednesday Night was Result of Hoax

Groveland Police Chief Jeffrey T. Gillen (Courtesy photograph.)

A large local and state police and first responder deployment Wednesday night in Groveland was the result of a hoax, known as “swatting.”

Groveland Police Chief Jeffrey T. Gillen said Thursday his department is investigating the hoax 911 call that came in t the night before at about 8:45, falsely reporting an act of violence. The caller told dispatchers he harmed someone in a home on Marjorie Street and would harm first responders.

“Out of an abundance of caution, and following established policies and procedures, a police, fire and emergency medical response ensued. This included summoning of mutual aid from all neighboring police departments and Massachusetts State Police,” a statement reported.

Neighboring homes were also evacuated as a precaution.

Police quickly realized no one was harmed inside the home, swept the area and allowed residents to return home at about 10 p.m.

Groveland Police Department said “swatting,” according to Oxford Languages. is “the action or practice of making a prank call to emergency services in an attempt to bring about the dispatch of a large number of armed police officers to a particular address.”

The phrase entered the dictionary in 2015, but has been recognized as a criminal phenomenon by the FBI since at least 2008.

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