Gov. Hochul: Over 200 schools received swatting calls

ALBANY, N.Y. Gov. Kathy Hochul met with New York State Police on Friday to discuss the response to recent swatting prank phone calls.

Officials said more than 30 calls went out to schools on Thursday, including Brockport and Brighton. All of the calls had a similar threat – the caller on the other line warning of an active shooter. In some cases, you can even hear fake gunshots in the background.

Hochul said she’s working with state police to get to the bottom of it. NYSP responded to over 200 schools in total. Hochul says every potential school threat is treated as if it were real.

But in light of the recent massacre in a Nashville school, she’s encouraging the public to educate themselves on resources available to stay safe and proactive. You may recall the Red Flag Law, enacted after the Buffalo mass shooting.

“This is a tool that, if someone sees or becomes aware of someone online or in person, and the individual could cause harm to themselves or others, they have an avenue,” said Hochul. “They can alert law enforcement and someone can identify if that person has guns at home or plans on purchasing guns, they can stop that from happening.”

There have been more than 7,000 extreme risk orders of protection issued since the Red Flag Law was enacted earlier in 2022. When it comes to the swatting phone calls, Hochul said the biggest challenge right now is figuring out if the perpetrator is foreign or local. No arrests have been made.