Troy Police investigating ‘purge’ posts on social media

Published 9:48 pm Thursday, August 21, 2014

Troy Police say they are investigating local messages sent on social media referencing the movie “The Purge,” but they caution residents from overreacting to what has been a hoax in other communities.

References related to the 2013 film “The Purge” have become a prominent topic on social media in past couple of weeks, as “purges” were declared in cities ranging from Louisville, Ky., to Phoenix City.

In the movie, all crime – including murder – becomes legal for a 12-hour time span one day each year. Although the movie was fictitious, early Thursday, a picture was circulated on social media and cellphones saying the Troy/Brundidge purge would begin Friday, Aug. 22 and take place from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Saturday.

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Lt. Bryan Weed with the Troy Police Department said Friday officers were investigating the messages, but he cautioned residents against overreacting. “I urge people to be aware, but don’t be so into it that you become paranoid,” he said, adding that individuals should always be aware of their surroundings and report to law enforcement officers if they see any suspicious activity.

The Louisville Police Department reported an increase in fake phone calls the night of the incident. Weed said the Troy Police Department was expecting much of the same.

“The main thing is it’s more of a stress that it causes on the community because of what might happen,” Weed said. “Like with Louisville, they didn’t have anything happen, but they got some prank calls so you could have something like that. You could have people feeding off of it and calling in prank calls.”

Weed said the police department is aware of the timing of the postings and today’s annual football game between Pike County and Charles Henderson high schools.

“They pick the day of the Pike County/Charles Henderson game, which is an annual event,” he said. “They know people are out and stirring around.”

However, he said the rivalry games have long been incident free, and the TPD puts additional officers on duty during the game each year. “ We’re going to have officers down there. The school board is aware of the situation. All our shifts are aware of the situation.”