This is in response to the May 13 opinion piece by Bill Bauer (“Nothing like clueless politicians,” My Write).
Mr. Bauer makes untrue assertions about Senate Bill 333, which increases penalties on false 911 calls. Dangerous false 911 calls, also known as swatting, are not just a problem in the city of Los Angeles, as Mr. Bauer asserts. I was requested by countywide law enforcement to carry this legislation because false 911 calls potentially affect everyone.
Technology is not constrained by geography and Santa Monica residents would not be immune from false 911 calls. These fake calls have occurred in numerous other states, and Michigan has already passed anti-swatting legislation. These calls don’t just affect those with higher profiles, they have been targeted against everyone, including attorneys, prosecutors, and even the Coast Guard.
Mr. Bauer’s assertion that the problem can be dealt with locally ignores the fact that local jurisdictions cannot change state criminal law. SB 333 authorizes the perpetrator be held liable for the full cost of the swatting incident — which can exceed $10,000 — during the restitution part of the criminal proceeding. I hope in the future Mr. Bauer will actually read the legislation before he gives his opinion about it.