Lawmakers discuss anti-swatting legislation


SCOTT COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – If not for alert law enforcement, a fake 911 call in March could have turned tragic in Scott County and now lawmakers want to make these pranks a serious crime.

Since that one call, Scott County has had four more SWATT calls, which are fake calls claiming murders, serious fires or bombs.

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Surveillance video shows the horror the family went through when deputies responded. Similar cases in Tennessee and California resulted in deaths.

Scott County Sheriff Tony Hampton told lawmakers Thursday such cases that result in harm should be a Class D felony that could result in five years in prison.

Currently, false reporting is only a misdemeanor.

“I have absolutely no problem sending someone to prison for one to five years for putting that family through what they did. And I don’t care whether there is an injury or not. It’s on the level of wanton endangerment,” said Sen. Danny Carroll, R-Paducah. “I’ve responded to these calls, lights and sirens at high rates of speed, putting other citizens at risk. It needs to be treated very harshly.”

Lawmakers also said the state may need to invest more in 911 dispatch technology that will better pinpoint the sources of these calls to help track down the culprits.