Pokemon Prompts Flood of 911 Calls
A newly released augmented reality game, Pokemon Go, has been the cause in a huge increase in 911 calls for suspicious persons. Police officers are quickly becoming familiar with the game, because its players are constantly alarming people.
To play Pokemon Go, players download the app onto their phones. Players then walk around the real-world while pointing the camera on their phone at different objects around them. The game inserts a computer animated Pokemon onto the phone screen, as if the player were seeing an actual Pokemon on their camera. Players can then “capture” any Pokemon that they locate.
Get on your feet and step outside to find and catch wild Pokémon. Explore cities and towns around where you live and even around the globe to capture as many Pokémon as you can. As you move around, your smartphone will vibrate to let you know you’re near a Pokémon. Once you’ve encountered a Pokémon, take aim on your smartphone’s touch screen and throw a Poké Ball to catch it. Be careful when you try to catch it, or it might run away! Also look for PokéStops located at interesting places, such as public art installations, historical markers, and monuments, where you can collect more Poké Balls and other items.
The officers behind Blue Lives Matter have had first-hand experience with these calls; one officer handled seven such calls in just a few hours. The most common report is from concerned citizens who are concerned about people possibly casing potential burglary sites; people are wary of strangers who appear to be recording their house. We have also seen people holding up their phones, obliviously walking into the roadway without checking for traffic.
We urge people to be aware of your surroundings when playing this game. And if you get strange looks from homeowners in the area, please explain to them what you are doing.