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389D7C606532DD65872582240073F4F7 Hearing Summary


Date Jan 29, 2018      
Location SCR 352

SB18-068 - Referred to Senate Appropriations

02:06:43 PM  

Senator Cooke, sponsor, explained Senate Bill 18-068 concerning criminalizing false reports.  Senator Cooke clarified that the bill applies to  "swatting,"  which is the action or practice of making a prank call to emergency services in an attempt to bring about the dispatch of a large number of armed police officers to a particular address.  He distributed a series of articles about swatting incidents in Colorado (Attachment B).  He stressed that swatting puts law enforcement and the people being swatted in dangerous situations, and the bill better addresses the seriousness of the offense. 

Senator Cooke played a 911 recording and news clip about swatting. 

Public testimony was taken on the bill.



02:26:49 PM  

Carrie Thompson. representing the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, provided neutral testimony on the bill.  She explained that she is not against the idea of creating a new crime for swatting but has concerns that the bill does not adequately provide safeguards for the mentally ill.  She answered questions from the committee about her particular concerns.   



02:36:23 PM  

Gina Shimeall, representing herself as a mental health defense attorney, testified in support of the bill in concept but had concerns about safeguards for the mentally ill.  She suggested a carve-out for people with mental illness.  She answered questions about the frequency of mentally ill individuals falsely reporting crimes, the use of guilty by reason of insanity, and welfare checks. 



02:48:50 PM  

Chief Doug Stevens, representing the Littleton Police Department, spoke in support of the bill.  He relayed a swatting incident in Littleton that used a tremendous amount of resources and created a dangerous situation for law enforcement and others.  He answered questions from the committee about welfare checks. 

03:01:44 PM  

Tim Lane, representing the Colorado District Attorneys' Council, testified in favor of the bill.  He explained that there is not a crime in state statutes that is commensurate with the seriousness of swatting.  He believed the bill has adequate protections for the mentally ill and that it is not necessary to provide carve-outs within individual statutes. 



03:06:55 PM  

Senator Cooke gave closing remarks. 

03:08:08 PM
Motion Refer Senate Bill 18-068 to the Committee on Appropriations.
Moved Cooke
Coram Yes
Fields Yes
Kagan Yes
Cooke Yes
Gardner Yes
Final YES: 5   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS

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