’48-Hour Challenge’ poses danger for those who participate and the community

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A new social media challenge is gaining popularity among teens but not so much with police.

Although teenagers might think the newest social media challenge is cool, the "48-Hour Challenge" only does two things: causes panic in parents and wastes valuable law enforcement resources.

“I have done the Cinnamon Challenge and the Ice Challenge before," Angelee Griffin said about the fun she has had with her friends on social media.

Griffin said she hasn't participated in the 48-Hour Challenge.

"First you had the Tide Pod Challenge and then you had The Birdbox Challenge and now this challenge," Overland Park Police Officer John Lacy said.

Lacy and others are very concerned about the latest challenge, where teens dare their friends to disappear for 48 hours with the goal that their name and/or picture will show up on social media.

The missing teen gets points for each like, share and other viewer interactions.

"We are going to take that call very serious," Lacy said. "You are wasting our time, and you are wasting our resources.

A missing persons report is a priority one call for police. Others are aggravated assault, injury car accidents, armed robberies and other life-threatening situations. Multiple officers are dispatched, taking them away from helping people who really need them.

Lacy, whose most important title is father, urges parents to monitor their children’s social media accounts.

"Look at their phone and see who they are texting, what is on their phone, what apps they have downloaded. I am telling you, as a parent, I would do the same thing," Lacy said.

Lacy's message for teens thinking of participating in this dangerous challenge is crystal clear.

“Stop. It is not a joke. These challenges, they have to stop."

Some might think there's no way there are teenagers dumb enough to do this, but it's happening nation wide. Those teens could be criminally charged for intentionally disappearing.

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