Issue#649: May 21, 2016  Special Edition
A Message from Chief Knight

Public Safety Warning

The Chaska Police Department wishes to make you aware, educate parents and our kids regarding "Nerf Wars".
  • What is a "Nerf War" ?
"Nerf Wars" consist of teams of high school students who shoot foam darts from toy guns, at others, "to take out opponents" on opposing teams. Sometimes the rules of this game allow for the capture and abduction of an opponent. Participants pay a fee to engage in the "Nerf War". A rather sophisticated method of "score keeping" , which utilizes wristbands, Facebook and Twitter is employed. The ultimate "Nerf War" winner wins a monetary prize.

"Nerf Wars" are not condoned, and strongly discouraged by the Chaska Police Department, School District 112 and the Chaska High School. That said, many "Nerf War" participants coordinate this activity in the school setting. Under the "rules" of the game a school is typically off limits; however, this causes participants to play the game before school , after school, evenings and weekends. Often the "warring teams" move about in cars "hunting, stalking and attacking" opponents. You may recall a tragedy that occurred last year in a neighboring community in which two young men were killed. It has been widely speculated that a "Nerf War" activity played a part in these deaths.

We are told that the "Chaska Nerf Wars" are set to begin on Friday April 29, 2016. Further we have learned that over 222 Chaska kids have signed up to participate, on Facebook, already. We strongly urge you to talk with your kids regarding their participation in this highly unsafe activity. On the surface, it seems like a fun game, but the consequences can be serious and life altering.

Last year, in Chaska, a pedestrian who was participating in a such a "war" was struck by a car. Many of the players gets so focused on the game that they end up driving recklessly through neighborhoods, forget to buckle up, don’t obey traffic laws, and drive through traffic signals. Game players commonly hop into and out of vehicles, shoot from moving vehicles and enter homes (sometimes without permission) to "take out" an opponent. In addition, obviously anyone seen running through a yard, or in a car, with a "firearm" can be interpreted as a very real threat by another person.

The Chaska Police Department has taken driving complaints, car accident reports, and investigated reports of unwanted home entry, fight calls, and curfew complaints in the past because of this activity.

We are concerned for the safety of game players, and all community members. Many non-participating, unknowing pedestrians, motorists and property owners have been caught up in the action between "warring teams". The Chaska Police Department will not tolerate reckless driving, reckless behaviors, or the destruction of property. City of Chaska curfew ordinances will be enforced. Vehicles may be impounded. Participants are likely to be held, until a parent or guardian takes responsibility for them.

As a community let's work together to keep our kids safe.

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