Charles Schumer, a senator from New York, has introduced legislation that would increase the fines for false calls into emergency centers and allow local agencies to access help from federal assets to prosecute offenders. The legislation is intended to combat the rising trend in “SWATing” where offenders call in false emergencies to police with the hope of a large scale response to the call. Many states have some legislation in place prohibiting such actions, but this alteration will increase the federal penalties for SWATing. Local and state agencies also have difficulty locating the suspects in SWATing cases, and the alterations in this bill will allow local and state agencies to leverage the resources of the FBI and similar organizations.
We encourage everyone to reach out to your senators and express your support of this bill. The tools that will be at our disposal will greatly help us combat SWATing, and in the end could save the lives of our responders.