Louisiana, like so many other states, has issued social distancing guidelines and other orders in an attempt to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. In the town of Crowley, those rules also include a 9 p.m. curfew, after which all residents must stay inside their homes.
To alert residents of the curfew, Crowley police rolled through town, sounding their sirens. Unfortunately, the siren tone that they played struck the wrong chord with many residents of the community because it’s the same one used in The Purge franchise.
For those not familiar, The Purge series, beginning with the eponymous 2013 film, takes place in a dystopian version of the United States several years in the future. In order to fight crime and maintain social order, the government legalizes all crimes for one 12-hour period each year. Anyone can “purge,” which is to say, kill, maim, vandalize, etc., in order to get violent urges out of their systems with no legal consequences.
The siren can be heard in the trailer below, at the 1:20 mark. Be warned: the trailer is violent and contains strong language.
When Crowley police rolled through town announcing the curfew, they played the same siren, likely inadvertently. The siren can be heard in the video below.
As Lafayette’s KATC-TV reports, Crowley police wanted to use a sound effect that was different from their regular sirens in order to announce the curfew, so that residents would take notice rather than just chalking it up to regular police sirens.
Unfortunately, the timing couldn’t have been worse. Using a sound effect known for its placement in a horror franchise, while people are locked inside their homes during a pandemic, made for bad juxtaposition.
Jimmy Broussard, Crowley’s police chief, said he had no idea that the siren was used in the movie franchise. However, he said that he won’t be using a different siren moving forward.
Meanwhile, Acadia Parish Sheriff K.P. Gibson said that his department had nothing to do with the siren choice.
“Last night a ‘Purge Siren’ was utilized by the Crowley Police Department as part of their starting curfew. We have received numerous complaints with the belief that our agency was involved in this process. We were not involved in the use of the ‘Purge Siren’ and will not utilize any type of siren for this purpose,” he said.