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Senator Boyd, District 21 — Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 11, 2021

CONTACT: Jack Rogers, 850-487-5021


Senator Boyd Files Legislation To Stop The False Reporting Of Crimes

Legislation clarifies increased penalties for false reporting

Tallahassee —

Florida State Senator Jim Boyd (R-Bradenton), today filed Senate Bill 1234, false reports of crimes. The bill will serve as an effective deterrent for those who have used swatting as a tool to harass others. “Swatting” is a form of harassment in which attackers try to trick law enforcement into sending heavily armed strike forces – like S.W.A.T.  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 Senator Boyd.

 “The practice of swatting has become more frequent, and its effects more expensive and destructive, both for the public and the law enforcement officers unwittingly put into those dangerous situations. The Florida Police Chiefs Association fully supports this bill and Senator Boyd’s efforts to combat this emerging public safety issue." - Chief Jeff Pearson, Satellite Beach Police Department and President, Florida Police Chiefs Association

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 felony of the third degree.  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 felony of the second degree. 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 felony of the first degree.

For more information, please visit www.FLSenate.gov

 

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