Swatting is a tactic where the perpetrator deceives police by falsely reporting a serious crime at their intended victim’s address with the goal of endangering and harming the victim. Swatting is illegal and is a federal crime.
To help alleviate swatting concerns in the city, the Seattle Police Department has launched a service for citizens worried about being the target of swatting. Citizens concerned about swatting can communicate their distress with police by registering their address onto an online tool called Rave Facility. And if an emergency call is made to said address, the swatting concern of the location will be shared with emergency responders in real time.
SPD will respond to all incidents whether or not a swatting concern has been registered at the address of a call. This service does not diminish or slow police response to an incident. It simply informs police about a potential swatting concern at an address so that police can improve their response to the incident.
Rave Facility, the tool being used by SPD to register swatting concerns, is designed for commercial properties to provide first responders with real time access to building details, floor plans, landline phone locations, building emergency contacts, building access points, utility information, campus boundaries, and fire/security alarm locations. For one reason or another, SPD has also chosen to use the tool as a database for registering swatting concerns.
The tool’s registration system is a bit tricky for citizens because Rave Facility is designed for organizations and not for personal use. Citizens are asked to register their swatting concern address as a corporation in the tool. And once registered, a citizen does not have the option to select their address as a private residence. Their location must be selected as “Other” in the registry and then manually entered in as a “private residence.”
To make sure an address is correctly registered as a swatting concern location in Rave Facility, “SWATTING CONCERNS” must manually be entered into an “Other Access Info” text box in the tool.
Once a citizen completes registration, their swatting concern application is manually reviewed and approved by SPD.