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Odd Law on Prank 911 Calls

The Tennessee state legislature has passed a law that increased the punishment for making a non-emergency call to 911, although a state document seem to indicate that it’s an unnecessary change. Current law provides for a $50 fine and up to 30 days in jail for a conviction of mis-using 911. Under the new law the fine is increased to a maximum of $2,500 and the jail time is increased to a maximum of one year. Local law enforcement officials had claimed the law would help deter phony and unnecessary 911 calls, and cited a recent case of 1,100 false calls made over 16 days. But a state-prepared “estimated fiscal impact” document on the legislation says, “Very few 911 call violations are prosecuted,” including just one at Davidson County over the previous year. The document didn’t indicate the intent of the bill was to reduce the number of calls, or estimate what that number might be. But it did state, “If such violations were prosecuted more frequently, there cold be a significant amount of revenue generated by the provisions of the bill.” The document

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