Reckless pranksters who get a thrill out of making false reports of an emergency and getting law enforcement to respond "code three" to a situation that does not exist will have to pay-up under Senate Bill 333 (SB 333).
SB 333,which has been sent to the Governor's office for signature, provides that those convicted of the offense would be responsible for the full cost of the police response. The cost of responding to these types of calls can amount to thousands of dollars, particularly if SWAT officers are called upon.
"The California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) supports SB 333 and is encouraging Governor Jerry Brown to sign this bill into law," said CSLEA President Alan Barcelona. "Any step that discourages this criminal activity that puts public and officer safety at risk, is a good step. These reckless hoaxes divert and tie-up precious emergency response resources starting with 911 call takers and dispatchers all the way up to the SWAT officers who suit up and move their gear into neighborhoods. "
It is not only a drain on emergency response resources, "swatting" is dangerous for the officers who respond and the homeowners who are suddenly surprised by officers rushing in with guns drawn. Celebrities in Los Angeles County are often the victims of "swatting." Miley Cyrus, Khloe Kardashian, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Tom Cruise, Ashton Kutcher have all been victims of swatting incidents.