Gov. Brown Ok’s Bill Requiring Restitution for False 911 Calls

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Long Beach Police

Long Beach Police – Photo by Barbara Holbrook, Everything Long Beach

Monday, Gov. Brown signed into law a public-safety measure mandating full restitution to taxpayers from those convicted of falsely reporting emergencies to 911.

The measure, Senate Bill 333 by Sen. Ted W. Lieu of Torrance, takes effect Jan. 1, 2014.

“Swatting drains vital resources from law enforcement and puts officers and citizens in dangerous situations,” Lieu said. “To those who engage in this dangerous practice, be aware this is not a game and you will be held responsible for all associated costs.”

Sponsored by the Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Department, Lieu’s measure comes after numerous false reports of threats or invaders in the homes of numerous California residents. The Los Angeles Police Department, LA County Sheriff’s Department, Beverly Hills Police Department, and other agencies have spent thousands of dollars and put their officers in dangerous situations as a result of swatting incidents.

Under Lieu’s bill, which applies to any cases of false 911 reports, a person convicted of making a false emergency report would be held liable for all costs associated with the response by law enforcement. Estimates range from several thousand to more than $10,000 per episode.

Police and sheriffs continue to respond immediately, in large numbers and with force if needed, to reports of violent crime at the homes of residents because it’s hard to know what is real and what is “swatting,” which refers to a prank call reporting a violent crime that results in a tactical police response that may include a SWAT team.

For more, including a Fact Sheet on SB 333, please visit Lieu’s Web site.

Ted W. Lieu chairs the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee and represents the more than 1.3 million residents of Senate District 28, which includes the cities of Beverly Hills, Carson, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Santa Monica, Torrance, West Hollywood and the Palos Verdes Peninsula as well as portions of Long Beach and Los Angeles including, Beverly Glenn, Brentwood, Cheviot Hills, Harbor City, Hollywood Hills, Marina del Rey, Mar Vista, Pacific Palisades, Playa del Rey, San Pedro, Venice, Westwood and Wilmington. See a district map HERE: For more, visit www.senate.ca.gov/lieu.

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