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Burbank Police Department, California
Thursday March 1st, 2018 :: 09:32 a.m. PST


Community Bulletin: Use and Misuse of 911

911 and emergency communication lines are critical components of public safety. 911 is used when there is a life or death emergency that requires the immediate response of emergency service personnel, such as police, fire, or paramedics.

When there is a non-emergency need for police services, the Burbank Police Department has a 7-digit phone number available 24 hours per day. Dial (818) 238-3000 for non-emergency police services in the City of Burbank.

Recently, there has been an unsettling pattern of fake emergency calls being made nationwide. Commonly referred to as “swatting,” false reporting of an emergency is illegal and extremely dangerous. Fake or prank emergency calls place first responders and members of the public at-risk and tie-up emergency resources. False emergency calls and hoaxes have resulted in serious injury and even death in the United States.

The Burbank Police Department would like to remind the community that it is a misdemeanor under the California Penal Code for any person to willfully use the 911 system for any purpose other than the reporting of an actual emergency. Furthermore, it is a felony if someone is injured or dies as a result of emergency service response to a false or fake call.

The Burbank Police Department takes this issue very seriously and will investigate any and all false reports of emergencies. Anyone suspected of reporting a false emergency or false crime will be held liable, both criminally and civilly for any costs associated with the response of public safety personnel.

Remember – 911 is for real emergencies only.


Sergeant Derek Green, Public Information Officer
Burbank Police Department

Burbank Police Department, California
200 North Third Street
Burbank, CA 91502

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 818-238-3000

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