California lawmakers are about to increase penalties for false 911 calls. The bill passed the senate today in an attempt to fight the recent upswing in “swatting” calls. These are false 911 calls, usually to celebrities homes, in order to garner a SWAT or other emergency services response. Although unfamiliar to many people, the practice of swatting has been around for almost a decade, but it now on the rise in Los Angeles.
These swatting calls are sucking up LAPD resources as each 911 call has to be taken as a real threat. Police officials believe it’s only a matter of time before someone is injured or killed in these high pressure situations.
Last year Ashton Kutcher, Chris Brown, Miley Cyrus, Simon Cowell, and Tom Cruise were targeted in bogus 911 calls. Justin Timberlake, Rhianna, Diddy, and Selena Gomez were targets just last week. Yesterday, Russell Brand.
But it’s not just celebrities. Lawyers and bloggers are also being targeted as the trend increases.
Bill Text: Senate Bill 333
Image credit: LAPDonline.org.