SANTA MONICA—On Monday, February 6, the Santa Monica Pier was evacuated by the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) after reportedly receiving a bomb threat via email.
SMPD posted a warning to the public on their X and Facebook pages promising the public an update when more information is available.
“Attention; for your safety, please avoid the Pier area until further notice. Law enforcement is currently investigating a bomb threat. Your cooperation is crucial in ensuring the safety of everyone in the vicinity.
Please remain vigilant and adhere to any instructions provided by authorities. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding during this situation. Stay safe and stay clear of the Pier until the all-clear is given. Thank you.”
SMPD sent out an SMPD Alert to update the public after determining the Pier was safe.
“Santa Monica Police activity at Pier has ended. The Pier is open to the public. Resume normal activity.”
Bomb threats and what is now referred to as swatting incidents has caused a heavier police presence nationwide.
Swatting refers to a harassment technique most often perpetrated by members of the online gaming community, or cyber activity. Swatting generates an emergency law enforcement response under false pretenses and is illegal.
While some may believe that the threat is only a prank or a hoax, swatting is a federal offense punishable by up to five years prison time.