“Swatting" is a dangerous prank where a person makes a false report to emergency services, usually involving a serious crime such as a hostage situation or a bomb threat, in order to deploy a SWAT team or other heavy police response to a target's address. This is typically done to harass the target, but it carries substantial risks, including potential harm to the target, bystanders, and law enforcement personnel

The origins of swatting can be traced back to the early 2000s, with the rise of online gaming communities. Disgruntled gamers would occasionally use this tactic to exact revenge on rivals, resulting in real-world consequences for virtual disputes. The term itself is derived from the acronym SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics), denoting the specialized police units that are often dispatched during these events.

Over the years, the motives for swatting have diversified. Some incidents have been sparked by personal disputes, while others are random acts aimed at celebrities or public figures. One of the most notable cases occurred in 2017 when a disagreement over a video game led to a swatting incident in Wichita, Kansas. Tragically, an innocent man unrelated to the dispute was fatally shot by responding officers, highlighting the extreme dangers and potential consequences of this malicious act.

In response to the growing threat of swatting, it's crucial for individuals to be informed and proactive. This guide aims to provide practical steps and insights to safeguard oneself and one's family from the dangers of swatting, emphasizing cooperation with local law enforcement and community members.

Proactive Measures to Prevent Swatting:

1. Initiate Communication: Proactively establishing a line of communication with your local police department can be a crucial step in safeguarding against potential swatting attempts. By doing so, you:

Build Rapport: Creating a familiar relationship with law enforcement can aid in more efficient response and understanding during potential emergencies. They will be more inclined to recognize your concern as genuine, rather than a fabricated swatting attempt.

Stay Informed: This proactive approach ensures you are kept abreast of any new guidelines or strategies the police may adopt in response to the growing threat of swatting.

Express Concerns: If you have reasons to believe that you might become a target, discussing these fears directly allows the police to understand your situation better and potentially take preemptive measures.

Always utilize the non-emergency number for such communications to ensure emergency lines remain available for those in immediate need.

2. Share Essential Details: Submit detailed contact information for everyone living in your home, including up-to-date phone numbers and ages of children present. Additionally, offer descriptions or license plate numbers of vehicles typically present at the residence. This information helps officers quickly identify familiar vehicles and residents during an incident. Providing a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the household's details not only assists in identification during potential incidents but also creates a sense of trust and preparedness. When you share information, you:

Enhance Response Efficiency: Police can respond more effectively if they're familiar with the residents and vehicles associated with a property. In high-pressure situations, every second counts, and any information that can reduce uncertainty is invaluable.

Ensure Safety of Residents: By sharing the descriptions and license plate numbers of vehicles usually found at your residence, you reduce the risk of misidentification, which could lead to unfortunate incidents or misunderstandings.

Promote Transparency: Actively providing information fosters an atmosphere of cooperation and trust with law enforcement. It underscores your commitment to safety and proactive engagement in community well-being.

Facilitate Swift Verifications: If the police receive a suspicious call regarding your address, having your details at their fingertips allows them to quickly verify the information with you or cross-check with what they already have on file.

3. Update Regularly: Keeping your information current with the local police department is pivotal. As circumstances change in your household, such as new residents moving in, guests with extended stays, or changes in vehicles:

Ensures Accuracy: Over time, details can change. Regular updates guarantee that law enforcement works with the most recent and relevant information during any given situation.

Reduces Confusion: Any discrepancies between their records and the actual situation can lead to confusion or misinterpretation during emergencies, potentially compromising response efficiency.

Demonstrates Proactiveness: Periodic updates highlight your commitment to safety and collaboration with law enforcement, further fostering a sense of community trust.

4. Protect the Young: Always provide the names and ages of children residing in the home. This information is crucial for their safety during potential incidents.Sharing the names and ages of children in your household is more than just a procedural measure:

Prioritizes Safety: Children may react unpredictably during stressful situations. Knowing their presence helps officers approach with added caution and sensitivity.

Ensures Appropriate Interaction: Being aware of children's ages allows officers to interact in age-appropriate ways, minimizing potential trauma or misunderstandings.

Reduces Risks: During high-intensity calls, officers can ensure that younger residents are safely accounted for and protected from any perceived threats.

5. Internal Police Record: Police should document this data in their internal systems.Maintaining a detailed record in the police's internal system can be pivotal during emergencies:

Streamlines Response: Officers can quickly access and review essential information about a household or individual when responding to a call, ensuring they approach the situation with the necessary context.

Reduces Misunderstandings: Accurate records can help clarify discrepancies or inconsistencies in the information they receive during emergency calls, potentially identifying false or misleading reports.

Facilitates Verification: Should the police need to verify any details during an incident, having an established "Jacket Profile" provides them a reliable reference point.

6. Educate Your Household: Ensure every family member, particularly children, is aware of the potential of a swatting event. Teach them the importance of following police orders and avoiding sudden movements if police unexpectedly enter the home.Equipping your family with knowledge about swatting and its potential consequences is vital for their safety and peace of mind:

Promotes Preparedness: When all members are informed, they can act swiftly and sensibly in the face of unexpected events, reducing panic or misguided actions.

Empowers Decision-Making: Understanding the nuances of a swatting event allows family members to make informed decisions on how to respond, especially when you might not be around to guide them.

Reinforces Collaboration: A collectively informed household is more cohesive, ensuring everyone works together in unison during potential emergencies.

7. Alert Trusted Neighbors: If you believe you might be a swatting target, inform trusted neighbors about the potential risk. Their observations can be invaluable, offering real-time context during any suspicious activity or incidents.Keeping neighbors informed of potential swatting concerns can be a strategic move for multiple reasons:

Creates a Watchful Community: Neighbors can act as an extra set of eyes and ears. Their familiarity with your regular patterns can help them identify unusual activities or suspicious strangers, which they can promptly report.

Immediate Assistance: In situations where law enforcement might not be immediately available, a nearby neighbor can potentially offer immediate support or validation, helping defuse situations more quickly.

Enhances Communication: If neighbors are aware of the risk, they can relay crucial information or updates to law enforcement on the scene, especially if they've observed anything out of the ordinary.

Strengthens Community Bonds: Discussing such concerns fosters a sense of community trust and unity. When neighbors look out for each other, the entire community becomes more resilient against threats.

8. Know Your Local PD's Communication: In the event of a swatting situation, many police departments will first try to establish contact with residents. Clarify in advance the phone number(s) your local department would use. Save these contacts in your phone, ensuring they bypass any call-blocking functionalities. Recognize the urgency of answering these calls promptly.Staying informed about how your police department communicates can prove invaluable during emergencies:

Quick Identification: By recognizing official police numbers, you can swiftly discern genuine calls from potential hoaxes or unrelated inquiries.

Ensures Open Channels: Storing these numbers ensures they bypass call-blocking features, guaranteeing the police can always reach you, especially in crucial moments.

Builds Trust: When you immediately answer or respond to a call from the police, it fosters a sense of cooperation and mutual respect, aiding in the smooth handling of potential incidents.

Promotes Swift Action: Understanding the communication protocols helps you act more decisively during emergencies, potentially averting misunderstandings or complications.

9. Understanding Police Response: With the increasing occurrences of swatting incidents, departments usually deploy several officers for an initial assessment before dispatching the entire SWAT team, based on the perceived threat level. If contact can be made, police will commonly request that you exit your residence to meet with officers so they can assess the situation. Familiarizing yourself with the typical response patterns of your local police can be crucial during potential swatting incidents:

Sets Realistic Expectations: By knowing how police typically respond, you can better anticipate their actions and coordinate your own responses more effectively.

Minimizes Surprises: Awareness of standard procedures reduces the chances of being caught off-guard by the presence of multiple officers or specific police protocols, even before the SWAT team arrives.

Aids Cooperation: An understanding of their methods enables smoother interactions, ensuring you can promptly comply with instructions or provide required information, which is particularly vital in high-pressure situations.

Enhances Safety: By anticipating and understanding the law enforcement approach, you can ensure the safety of all household members by guiding them on how to behave or where to be during such incidents.

10. Stay Calm: In the unfortunate event of a swatting situation, maintaining calm is paramount. Follow all instructions from law enforcement to ensure safety for all involved.In the tumultuous setting of a swatting incident, keeping a clear head and cooperating with the police are paramount:

Prevents Escalation: Demonstrating a calm demeanor can defuse tensions, helping officers quickly discern the real nature of the situation and adjust their response accordingly.

Enhances Safety: Swift compliance with law enforcement commands minimizes potential risks for everyone involved. Officers can better protect and assist if they see cooperation rather than resistance.

Facilitates Clear Communication: Staying calm enables better communication between you and the responding officers. This clarity is essential in rapidly resolving the incident and clarifying any misunderstandings.

Sets an Example: Especially in households with multiple members, one person's composed behavior can influence others, helping the entire household navigate the situation more safely and efficiently.


In a world where the threat of swatting looms ever-present, it is imperative that we equip ourselves with knowledge and tools to protect our communities. The steps outlined in this guide emphasize the vital role of cooperation and proactive engagement with local law enforcement and our neighbors. By fostering open communication channels and nurturing trust within our community, we create a shield against the malicious intentions behind swatting.

As we move forward, let's remember that our collective efforts can make a substantial difference. It is not just about safeguarding ourselves but fortifying our entire community against potential dangers. Through unity and mutual understanding, we can build a resilient front, ready to counteract the perils associated with swatting.