Lexington police: ‘swatting’ is dangerous and can be a felony

Republished from WEKU.

A rash of bomb threats and other false alarms directed at Kentucky schools last week aren’t just illegal – they also endanger first responders and many others. That’s according to Sergeant Guy Miller, the public information officer of the Lexington Police Department. He said the penalties against what’s known these days as “swatting” have been stiffened in Kentucky – with good reason.

“You could have multiple officers working into the city going to that location, our emergency response team, that unit getting ready, you have our Air One unit that is probably getting ready, all these people getting ready within five minutes.”

Miller said the technical term for “swatting” is “falsely reporting an incident” – and if first responders activate their lights for an emergency response, it’s a Class D felony. He said first responders don’t pause to wonder if such calls are hoaxes.

“You want all your resources coming to that location as fast as they can to stop the threat. We have to treat it as it’s true. And unfortunately, a lot of the times right now we’re seeing that it’s not.”

In a statement, Fayette County Schools spokeswoman Dia Davidson-Smith said the district works with local, state and even federal law enforcement, when necessary, to ensure schools and other properties are safe.

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Originally published by WEKU.

Republished with permission.