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State Senator

Paul Doyle

Representing Cromwell, Middletown, Newington, Rocky Hill & Wethersfield

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Doyle Leads Senate Passage of Swatting Bill

State Senator Paul R. Doyle (D-Wethersfield) led passage of a bill in the Senate that will increase the penalty for those who make hoax emergency calls to 911 which draw a large response by first responders in a practice known as “swatting.”

Senate Bill 26, An Act Concerning Swatting, ensures that swatting is treated as a class D felony. It also implements an additional penalty in which the offender may be held responsible for financial restitution to a municipality or state agency to cover the cost of police and other emergency response.

“The intention of this legislation is to deter people from falsely reporting emergencies to law enforcement, as we have seen happen time after time. It sends a strong message to those who call in these hoax threats which lead to a massive response from law enforcement and municipalities and the state have to pick up the cost,” said Sen. Doyle, Democratic co-chair of the General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee where the bill originated. “It’s also a huge public safety hazard when first responders are diverted away from actual emergencies. This is a good bill that increases the criminal penalty and has financial implications, and I think it will certainly help us stamp out this type of behavior which is most certainly not a simple prank.”

The bill passed the Senate on a unanimous, bipartisan vote.

Numerous municipalities have reported incidents of swatting, which has had an adverse impact on their public safety resources and has put first responders and citizens at risk.

The bill has the support of the Connecticut Police Chiefs’ Association, emergency personnel and concerned citizens.

It will next go to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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