TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WWSB) - A bill introduced by State Sen. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, would put more teeth into laws concerning filing false police reports.
Boyd says his bill, Senate Bill 1234, will serve as an effective deterrent for those who have used a harassment technique known as ‘swatting,’ where attackers try to trick law enforcement into sending SWAT teams to unsuspecting targets’ homes. As false reporting of crimes continues to grow in popularity, it unnecessarily places law enforcement and the public in harm’s way.
“I believe we can end this practice and avoid subjecting innocent people and law enforcement officers to unnecessary harm.” said Boyd.
This legislation seeks to place harsher penalties for reporting a false crime in efforts to curb this terrible trend and stop those who choose to use law enforcement to harass. The provisions of the bill include the following:
The bill provides a response by a federal, state, district, municipal, or other public safety agency to address the reported crime, and the combined cost incurred by all responding agencies exceeds $1,000, the person making such report commits a third-degree felony.
However, if great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement, or permanent disability as a proximate result of lawful conduct arising out of a response, the person making such report commits a second-degree felony. If the reported crime and death as a proximate result of lawful conduct arising out of a response, the person making such report commits a first-degree felony.