By PoliceOne Staff SEATTLE — Seattle Police are expanding an online registry residents can use to provide first responders additional information ahead of a 911 response by allowing anyone to register concerns about becoming a target of “swatting.”
The department already uses tech by a company called Rave Facility that allows residents to create a “Smart 911” profile that allows residents to log details they want officers to know before responding to calls to their home, such as pets or medical conditions, reported Engadget.
Seattle resident can now share concerns with the local 911 Center about being targets of ‘swatting,’ a prank where someone lodges a false emergency call to dispatchers at an innocent person’s location to kick up a dramatic — and sometimes fatal — police response.
In 2017, a swatting hoax in Kansas led to the death of an innocent man when the caller provided the man’s address and claimed he was holding hostages.
The Seattle PD hopes to avoid similar tragedies by expanding the “Smart 911” profiles. Once someone registers, dispatchers will be able to check for swatting concerns at the caller’s address and share them with responding officers.
Officials reassured residents that the registry will not negatively affect police response time.
“Nothing about this solution is designed to minimize or slow emergency services,” a description of the response process on the department’s site read. “At the same time, if information is available, it is more useful for responding officers to have it than to not.