Illinois increases penalties for false 911 calls
Making false calls to 911 is a crime, and, now, that crime carries stricter penalties in Illinois. A new law aims to help protect law enforcement officers and emergency responders from dangers they may face when responding to false 911 calls.
Under the new law, signed by Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday, a person found guilty of making a false 911 call will face a Class 4 felony for the first violation as well as subsequent violations. A Class 4 felony is punishable by one to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Previously, a false 911 call could result in a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and one year in jail. “Making false calls to 911 can put our law enforcement officers and emergency responders in serious jeopardy and endangers public safety by straining resources,” Quinn said in a statement. “By making the penalty harsher, this new law will help deter people from placing false 911 calls.”
The new law passed the Illinois General Assembly unanimously and takes effect Jan. 1, 2011. The legislation comes after Kankakee County Sheriff’s Deputy Dave Stukenborg was seriously injured in a car accident when responding to a prank call made to 911. “Hopefully, this new law will deter people from making fake calls to 911, so no other family has to go through what my family has endured from such a senseless prank,” Stukenborg said in a statement.
Read Quinn’s full statement.