Senator Schumer calls for “swatters” to receive harsher penalties

COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Senator Chuck Schumer was in Colonie Monday touting new legislation to put “swatters” in their place.

“Swatters” are people who make fake calls to police and fire departments that result in a massive response until it’s discovered that it’s really just a false alarm.

Senator Schumer says swatting costs the police department thousands of dollars. Colonie police have had two incidents since 2013.

In March, a man called officials to 5 Jodiro Ln. claiming he had a bomb, guns, and was holding his mother hostage. But the call was a hoax and more than 40 officers responded, including a SWAT team. They evacuated residents for an hour and a half during the incident.

Similar incidents occurred in 2013 when a fake caller had police responding to three different addresses. Soon after, police realized the caller was in Florida.

Schumer says the Anti-Swatting Act will discourage fake callers by increasing prison time on convictions to eight years, making criminals pay restitution to police, and make it illegal for people to evade them by disguising their caller ID.

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