Toying with police force isn’t funny

The perpetrators of the rogue transmission on a Logan Township emergency radio channel late Feb. 11 and early Feb. 12 no doubt got great fun and satisfaction from their actions.

After all, they were responsible for police officers spending hours responding to several areas to check out what was being said over the radio channel, all of which diverted the officers from their regular patrols.

It’s troubling — indeed, sad — that the perpetrators have nothing better to do on a weekend and have such meaningless social lives that they had time to embark on their irresponsible and, in fact, dangerous venture.

People’s lives could have been jeopardized while the police were responding to places where they usually wouldn’t have been at the time. What if an officer had been injured — or worse — responding to the bogus information that was being spewed on the channel in question?

Had such a tragedy occurred, those responsible would have been subject to charges much worse than they now deservedly could face.

It’s important that the perpetrators be apprehended and dealt with to the full extent of the law.

Commendably, Blair County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individuals responsible.

– The number to call is 814-695-7555.

– Callers can remain anonymous.

– One important reality encompassing many crimes is that someone besides the wrongdoers often knows the identities of those responsible. That’s because those responsible oftentimes can’t resist bragging to someone else about what they’ve done.

– It’s a well-known fact that prisons sometimes provide a key piece of evidence that helps police close a case whose investigation long has been at a dead end — because an inmate brags to another inmate, who passes that information on to prison officials, hoping to gain considerations involving his or her own plight.

For the sake of this county’s overall law-and-order well-being, whoever might know something about what occurred on the night of Feb. 11-12 would do a great service by breaking his or her silence.

The $2,000 reward is a good incentive, although the reward is secondary to the Altoona area’s best interests — to the municipalities involved and their residents.

Could it be that what occurred on the night in question involved individuals “close to” and familiar with the area’s emergency services — individuals intent on playing a practical joke that was anything but that? That’s a legitimate basis for speculation considering that, besides military jargon and discussion of fake attacks on Altoona and Logan Township police, officers were mentioned by name.

According to Logan Police Chief Tim Mercer, one officer was identified by name as having been shot and bleeding to death at Wopsononock Lookout.

In addition to the references to police, the voices on the transmission, which were profuse with profanities, talked about killing people on welfare.

The bottom line is that the incident was not innocent fun and should not have been a source of any satisfaction whatsoever. Besides blatant irresponsibility, the transmission exhibited gross immaturity.

The Altoona area will owe a debt of gratitude to whoever provides the key piece of evidence that ensures that the perpetrators will get to sample “social life” in one of Blair County’s courtrooms.

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