The Seattle Police Department released body cam footage of a recent “swatting” incident that took place.
Swatting, for those unfamiliar, is when a police department receives a hoax call, usually involving gunfire or hostages, that requires immediate response from SWAT units.
“It is a deliberate and malicious act that creates an environment of fear and unnecessary risk, and in some cases, has led to loss of life,” the Seattle PD wrote in a release.
The recent incident involving the Seattle PD was textbook swatting. Using an online app to disguise himself, an unnamed caller said, “… I have five hostages in my house at the moment. I want five grand or I’m going to kill them all.”
Seattle Swatting Response
Responding officers knew the caller made the call using an online phone app. Upon arrival, one officer even says, “Sounds more and more like swatting to me.”
The officers carefully enter the apartment building with their rifles drawn. After checking with a neighbor, officers knock on the door of the reported apartment.
After a verbal response from within, a female answers the door shortly thereafter. She confirms with police that it’s just her and her cat in the apartment. Police let her know about the call and the video ends.
Seattle Police Find a Solution
This particular incident ended without any injuries, but that isn’t always the case. With that in mind, the Seattle PD partnered with Rave Facility to improve its existing SMART911 app.
Here’s the gist:
“A 911 call taker receives a report of a critical incident. While ensuring first responders are dispatched to that call for service as quickly as possible, the call taker will simultaneously check for whether or not swatting concerns have been registered at that address. If swatting concerns have been registered, this information will be shared with responding officers, who will still proceed to the call. If no location profile exists, officers will still continue to the call. Nothing about this solution is designed to minimize or slow emergency services. At the same time, if information is available, it is more useful for responding officers to have it than to not.”
Watch the video below and see how it works.
For more information, please visit Seattle.gov.