Michigan cracks down on fake 911 calls with 2 new laws

Gov. Snyder signs laws to battle fake 911 calls, 'swatting' in Michigan

By Steve Garagiola - Reporter/Anchor

DETROIT - Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed two new laws on Monday in an effort to battle fake emergency calls to 911.

The first law creates new felonies for making such calls. The second allows local governments to be reimbursed for the cost of responding to the fake calls.

The governor also addressed swatting, a term referring to fake 911 calls which are meant to mobilize a SWAT team.

"There is actually a term they use, which is a very troubling term. They call it swatting," Snyder said. "Where literally they try to make a call where they call out the SWAT team."

Swatting has made national headlines recently. Within the past few weeks in California, SWAT teams responded to the homes of actor Ashton Kutcher and performer Miley Cyrus because someone called 911 to falsely report an intruder with a gun at those addresses.

For a small Michigan community such as Trenton, the issue is about money and safety.

"We're down to six men a day to do two stations. So, when these type of calls come in and our guys are out they are not protecting the people that need them," said Trenton Fire Chief Bruce Vick.

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