Legislation will make it a crime to harass 911 dispatchers


The Alaska Legislature has voted to criminalize the harassment of 911 dispatchers and threats against them.

The Alaska House voted 37-1 on May 11 to approve Senate Bill 38, a measure passed 19-0 by the state Senate on March 17.

The bill was written by Wasilla Sen. David Wilson and advances to the desk of Gov. Mike Dunleavy for signature into law after failing to pass through the Legislature last year.

The measure was at least partially inspired by an instance when a caller repeatedly dialed 911 to protest Fourth of July fireworks.

If Dunleavy approves the bill, state law would be amended to allow authorities to bring misdemeanor charges against someone who repeatedly calls 911 when there isn’t an emergency and persists calling even when asked to stop.

Someone who threatens a 911 dispatcher could also be charged with a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine of $2,000.

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The Alaska Beacon is an independent, donor-funded news organization. Alaskabeacon.com.


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