No serious rise in crime during “Purge”

No serious rise in crime during Purge

Margo Morton

The Louisville Metro Police Department experienced a 20% rise in emergency calls last night during the “Purge,” according to the LMPD Public Information Officer Dwight Mitchell. Officer Mitchell said that the LMPD became aware that the “Purge” rumor began as a joke during the middle of the week, but determined that the original post was not a real threat.

“We can’t say that they were necessarily ‘Purge’ calls. I think a lot of people were being extra careful and calling about a lot of stuff that they thought was strange, so obviously we responded. We take all threats very seriously,” Officer Mitchell said. “ I don’t think we would change a thing in how we reacted to anything. We’re always going to err on the side of caution to keep the citizens of our city safe.”

Some Louisville residents listening to police scanners online took the “Purge” seriously.

“Last night I was worried because times have changed and people have changed,” Louisville resident Ashanti Janeene said. “I found out about stuff happening on the West End and I’m glad it wasn’t all over Louisville.”

“I didn’t [take it seriously] when I first heard it,” Zachary Menefee (12, MST) said. After finding rumors of a “Purge” in Chicago to be false, his doubt was confirmed. “I just kind of laughed it off because I figured crime is crime and people who commit them are going to commit them regardless. I mean, the majority of us law-abiding citizens whose only interaction with the purge itself was locking ourselves indoors for the most part,” said Menefee.

Public concern had risen throughout the week due to unclear coverage from local media and confusion over the tweet that started it all.

“A lot of people get their news and a lot of what they think is truth through [social media] and it takes on a life of its own and it does cause unnecessary alarm, particularly with young people, when they don’t realize how far reaching it is and the chaos that it can provide,” Officer Mitchell said. “We have to take it seriously, so we want all folks to be vigil when they’re out and understand where their surroundings are and take all the safety precautions they can and still have a good time.”