Do NOT try this at home kids. Citizens of a Louisiana parish got a very unnerving surprise last week after the parish enacted a curfew to slow the spread of coronavirus, and local police announced the start of it using sirens identical to the ones in Universal’s “The Purge” franchise.
The error in judgement was captured on video by a resident of Crowley, Louisiana, in Arcadia Parish on April 2 and subsequently posted to YouTube by ABC affiliate KATC. In the clip, the unmistakable sound of the franchise’s key sound effect can clearly be heard in the distance. See for yourself at the top of the page.
According to KATC, Crowley police had informed citizens in a Facebook post that they would be using a siren to announce the start of the 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. curfew, and that it would be “different” from normal sirens. Mission accomplished! Alas, locals weren’t amused, and hundreds complained about it on the Crowley Police Facebook page.
The Facebook post has since been deleted and, according to KATC, Crowley PD has stopped using sirens of any kind to announce the start of the curfew. The city’s chief of police also told the outlet he had no idea the siren they used was from “The Purge.”
Even Arcadia Parish Sheriff KP Gibson has distanced himself from the mishap, saying in a post to Facebook that his office was “not involved in the use of the ‘Purge Siren’ and will not utilize any type of siren for this purpose.” Gibson also suggested that residents concerned about the sirens should contact Crowley PD.
The film and TV franchise take place in the near future, after the United States has been taken over by an extreme right wing group called The New Founding Fathers of America. The NFFA have instituted a once-a-year event, “The Purge,” a 12-hour period during which all crimes including murder are legal, and citizens are encouraged to kill each other; the iconic sirens are used to announce the start and the end of a Purge. (Spoiler: The whole thing exists in order to A) make it easy to kill dissidents, B) make the citizenry distrust one another, and C) reduce unemployment by reducing the, uh, number of unemployed people.)
The important thing from our point of view? “The Purge” franchise is uniformly excellent, fun and thought provoking; reminding people of it in real life not so much.