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Kansas Legislature Unanimously Passes Emergency Call Hoax Bill

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Kansas lawmakers have approved tougher penalties for making false calls to police three months after an officer fatally shot a Wichita man during a deadly hoax emergency call.

The bill makes fake calls that result in death a felony comparable to second-degree murder. Any false call for emergency help would be at least a misdemeanor, becoming a felony if the caller uses a fake identity or electronically masks their identity.

The practice is known as “swatting,” and occurs when someone makes a call to police with a false story of an ongoing crime in an attempt to draw a large number of police officers to a particular address.

The bill is named the Andrew Finch Act, after the man killed by Wichita police as they responded to a hoax emergency call in December that they thought was a hostage situation. The legislation was championed by his mother, Lisa Finch.

The bill is headed to Gov. Jeff Colyer after the Legislature passed it on Tuesday. The Senate approved the bill on a 40-0 vote. The House approved it unanimously in February. The governor has 10 days after receiving legislation to sign or veto it.

 

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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