State Police warn of threats, swatting

Connecticut State Troopers warn citizens about falsely reporting incidents and making threats that require law enforcement to respond. These types of events are deceptive and will result in arrests for those fabricating reports or intimidating others.

Calling in false reports, sometimes referred to as “swatting,” are not pranks; they are criminal acts, including possible felonies, which carry significant penalties.

In addition to state and municipal police, a swatting call may also require the response of fire service and emergency medical services and lead to disruptions in schools and businesses.  

Charges for making false reports could include falsely reporting an incident, reckless endangerment, misuse of the emergency 911-system, threatening, and breach of peace.

Similarly, any threats made by individuals are taken seriously and are likely to result in an arrest.  

In the past week, a woman threatened to open fire on a day care center and a man made threats to a state office building via social media.

A third person verbalized threats while waiting in line at another state office building. Businesses, and state and local agencies alike provide avenues and procedures for complainants to make their concerns known; individuals are strongly encouraged to use those venues both to resolve the issue at hand and to avoid arrest by making threats.    

Law enforcement must treat these types of incidents as genuine and respond to them appropriately, making arrests and ensuring the safety of those threatened. Troopers are on patrol 24 hours a day, standing by for any emergency.

Responding to false alarms takes them away from legitimate calls for help and wastes valuable manpower. Fabricated threats lead to disruptions in schools, businesses and everyday life.

“There are proscribed means by which persons should seek assistance and solve problems; none of them involve making threats to individuals or groups,” said Dr. Dora B. Schriro, commissioner of the Department Of Emergency Services And Public Protection. “A grievance procedure can, and should be used. Threats will only result in arrests, a criminal record and a waste of valuable law enforcement resources.”

State Police Colonel Brian Meraviglia said, “These occurrences point to a growing problem in Connecticut and elsewhere. False calls for help are criminal acts which move our much-needed first responders away from critical duties and true emergencies.”