Police: 'It's just not worth the punishment'

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS-- 'On lock down, armed suspect, bomb threat' language recently heard around Northwest Arkansas, and in a setting that is supposed to be safe.

"A lot of times it may be just a case of you know they think it's a joke or they are trying to get out of school early," Stout said.

However, it doesn't turn out so funny. When the call comes in to Fayetteville Police, Sergeant Craig Stout said they are prepared to take action... false alarm or not.

"Each one is very unique. You have to take into consideration the possible validity of it and you always want to treat it as being the real thing until you can prove otherwise," and that means real charges. This is a very serious offense and if caught and prosecuted, can result in some serious consequences. Anything from communicating a false alarm, terroristic threatening, those can have various instances," Stout said.

Not only is it a threat to the safety of students, but the rest of the community...because dispatch lines don't stop ringing.

Stout said, "We have to make sure that we have an adequate people to respond to the bomb threat while still maintaining our presence throughout the rest of the city. If you have a lot of people tied up, it may delay our response time to another serious instance as well."

So Stout said joke or not, these cases are always considered to be serious and are never funny.

"It's just not worth the punishment for what you may think is a joke or maybe trying to get out of taking a test. Typically in most cases the people are usually caught and prosecuted," Stout said.

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