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How Lee County 911 operators knew last week's school shooter calls were fake

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Dixon HS drone shot

DIXON — Last week, hundreds of first responders across the Stateline rushed to schools after callers claimed there was an active shooter on campus.

All 21 calls across Illinois and the three in the Stateline region were fake calls referred to by police as "swatting" calls.

Freeport and East High Schools saw major police pushes to respond to the call, but Dixon had a small response, leaning on just the Dixon High School resource officer and administration to confirm the threat wasn't real.

Why the lower response?

Lee County's 911 center was able to determine the call was fake in less than 90 seconds.

This all stemmed from the team of operators asking important questions.

The woman from the 911 center asked the caller, who claimed he was a teacher, if the school had a normal schedule for the day. The caller said yes which was all the operator needed to hear.

The operator had kids at Dixon High School and she knew the school was on a different schedule for SAT testing that day.

Immediately after the caller was confronted about not knowing the schedule, he hung up.

What's happening now?

Lee County, and the Dixon Police Department are teaming up with Illinois State Police and the FBI to track the call.

Lee County Sheriff Clay Whelan commended the operators for sniffing out the swatting call and said his freshman student at the school didn't even know about the call when he came home.

Listen to the full call between Lee County 911 operators who asked questions which exposed a school shooting threat as a hoax

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