CHICAGO – July 26, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a bill into law to deter individuals from placing false 9-1-1 calls by increasing penalties for fake 9-1-1 offenses. The new law will help protect law enforcement officers and emergency responders from dangers they may face when responding to false 9-1-1 calls.
“Making false calls to 9-1-1 can put our law enforcement officers and emergency responders in serious jeopardy and endangers public safety by straining resources. We must do everything we can to support the brave men and women who protect the public,” said Governor Quinn. “By making the penalty harsher, this new law will help deter people from placing false 9-1-1 calls.”
House Bill 6101, sponsored by Rep. Lisa Dugan (D-Kankakee) and Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights), amends the law to impose greater penalties on individuals found guilty of making a false 9-1-1 call.
Under the new law, a person found guilty of making a false 9-1-1 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. Under current law a false 9-1-1 call can result in a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and one year in jail.
The new law passed the Illinois General Assembly unanimously and takes effect Jan. 1, 2011.
This 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 9-1-1.
“Hopefully, this new law will deter people from making fake calls to 9-1-1, so no other family has to go through what my family has endured from such a senseless prank,” said Stukenborg.