Prank callers convicted of "swatting" -- the reporting of a false emergency triggering a massive armed law enforcement response -- will have to reimburse tax payers for the expense thanks to a bill passed this week.
The cost of a swatting is estimated to upwards of $10,000 per incident, a drain on already over tapped local law enforcement resources.
Malibu High School was the target of "swatting" last year when a prank caller made bogus threats against the school, prompting a massive law enforcement response that panicked parents and led to evacuations. No arrests were made.
"Swatting drains vital resources from law enforcement and puts officers and citizens in dangerous situations," Lieu said. "To those who engage in this dangerous practice, be aware this is not a game and you will be held responsible for all associated costs."
The new law, which is sponsored by California State Sen. Ted Lieu, does not increase potential jail time (up to one year), but the previous fees of up to $1,000 could be increased.
Do you think this will reduce the number of swatting calls in Los Angeles County? Tell us in the comments.