Written by Taylor Nimmo , Michael Coker for WCPO
The FBI is still looking for who called in two bomb threats against the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge in the last week.
The bridge reopened at around 1:05 p.m. Sunday after being closed for approximately three hours for investigation. The bridge was shut down as Bengals fans tailgated nearby for the team’s home opener.
A prior threat Wednesday was investigated by authorities and deemed not credible.
Cincinnati and Covington police have now turned the investigation over to the FBI.
The Louisville FBI office is leading the investigation.
Communications consultant, Fred Posner said technology has made it much more difficult to track down the people making these threats.
Posner said there are now companies that allow people to make phone calls through free apps.
“As well as if there’s a VPN being used, which is virtual private networks that allow us to somewhat protect ourselves or appear that we’re somewhere that we’re not,” Posner said.
He said the reason these false threats are becoming more prevalent is a lack of repercussions.
“There’s absolutely no ramifications when someone does this. Even if law enforcement gets to find out who it is and that is an extremely exhaustive amount of work for law enforcement to do. Nothing happens,” he said.
Posner said the first step in stopping these swatting calls is to hold the companies accountable.
“I think the first thing that you can do is go to the company and say who made this call? And when they can’t tell you exactly who made the call, then you hold them accountable for the costs of the law enforcement response,” Posner said.
From schools, businesses, and now bridges, these calls are becoming more and more common across the country.
“What concerns me is that when there is a real need for heavy law enforcement response, that it’s just considered to be one of these pranks again,” Posner said.
In a statement, Louisville FBI said in part “We appreciate everyone’s patience during the incident and continue to urge the public to remain vigilant and immediately report all suspicious activity to law enforcement.”