Crowley, LA – Residents freaked out on Friday night when Crowley police used a siren familiar to many from the series “The Purge” to announced the start of a parish-wide curfew.
Acadia Parish enacted a curfew for all residents from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. and it went into effect for the first time on April 3, KATC reported.
Crowley police notified residents in advance that they would be hearing a siren that would sound different from what they were used to hearing to signal the start of the curfew.
Police warned that once residents heard the siren, they weren’t to leave their homes til morning, KATC reported.
“If you are out between the 9:00 pm to 6:00 am you will be stopped and advised to go home,” the Crowley Police Department said in a Facebook post about the impending curfew.
The post explained that officers would begin giving out citations for curfew violators after a few days, KATC reported.
Residents who worked in essential jobs were required to have documentation from their employers to be out during the curfew hours, according to the post.
Some in the community questioned why the curfew was being so strictly enforced, and the police department responded, KATC reported.
“Acadia Parish received the worse rating for the rapid spread of the virus,” Crowley police posted. “It has been put into place in order try and slow the spread. There is nothing anyone needs to be on the roads besides emergency situations. If you don’t want to comply with the orders of the Sheriff and the Chiefs, you will dealt with accordingly.”
Despite the warning that it was coming, community members complained they were not prepared to hear the siren from the cult movie and television series “The Purge” blaring from police cars, KATC reported.
In “The Purge,” that specific chilling siren sound signals a 12-hour national holiday during which all crimes including murder are legal.
“It was just crazy,” Ty Abshire told KATC. “I knew they had a curfew but nobody was expecting to hear that kind of siren.”
Abshire said that social media went crazy with people posting about who they were going to kill during the local purge as if they were in the movie.
“So I just definitely thought a better siren could have been issued,” he said.
Crowley Police Chief Jimmy Broussard was unapologetic about using the siren although he said they didn’t plan to use it again, KATC reported.
“Our purpose was to let people know, and if they know now – even through this – how dangerous this pandemic is, how dangerous this COVID-19 is, then okay it was accomplished,” Chief Broussard said.
The chief said he didn’t specifically choose to use the siren from “The Purge,” according to KATC.
He said he had been trying to avoid using the police vehicles’ regular sirens to announce the start of curfew, and one of his officers suggested they use an old military siren with a more muffled tone that he didn’t think would cause “as much havoc.”
“It was to remind people that this is a very serious matter,” Chief Broussard explained. “It is a very serious disease. It’s a very serious pandemic going on. I think part of the issue is people are not saying – even if they look at the statistics, it’s not real to them.”
Acadia Parish Sheriff K.P. Gibson made it clear on his department’s official Facebook page that the sheriff’s department was not involved in the siren chaos, WTSP reported.
“We were not involved in the use of the ‘Purge Siren’ and will not utilize any type of siren for this purpose. Calls regarding this matter should be directed to the Crowley Police… not the Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office,” Sheriff Gibson posted.