SWAT teams are used in highly dangerous situations like a shootout. Pranksters are using SWAT teams and other law enforcement for their own enjoyment in a trend called "swatting."
It's when someone calls 911 and fakes an emergency in order to draw out numerous law enforcement agencies.
This week's Sandy Hook, New Jersey, hoax is an example of swatting. The call prompted the Coast Guard, the New Jersey State Police, the NYPD, the FDNY, and others to deploy rescue crews for a nonexistent boating accident.
Dr. Ng Berrill, a Manhattan forensic psychologist, believes swatting is all about a thrill. He says the caller could even be watching it all go down.
So far no documented tragedies from swatting have occurred. But the hoax calls are costing tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars all across the country. The hoax in Sandy Hook cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $330,000.
The FBI says swatting isn't new but it is happening more often. The main reason? Advanced technology now makes it almost impossible for the caller to get caught.
Riders should anticipate some changes but "near normal" service on the Long Island Rail Road for the Wednesday morning rush. Crews have bee working to repair tracks and switches after Monday's derailment.