Governor Murphy signs bill S2426 into law, requiring all public and nonpublic NJ schools to submit critical incident mapping data to local law enforcement.
Governor Phil Murphy today signed bill S2426 into law, requiring all public and nonpublic schools in New Jersey to submit critical incident mapping data to local law enforcement in electronic format.
In August, Governor Murphy announced a $6.5 million investment in American Rescue Plan funds toward a statewide school security initiative to collect and digitize school building blueprints and make them available to first responders.
S2426, which builds on the Governor’s statewide school security initiative, requires each board of education, board of trustees, or chief school administrator to provide their local law enforcement authorities or designated law enforcement entities with critical incident mapping data for all schools and school grounds.
"We have seen, time and time again, public mass shootings taking place across our country. Providing our law enforcement and first responders with the critical incident mapping data will aid them in their efforts in case of an emergency at a school," said Governor Murphy.
Critical incident mapping data includes:
- Aerial images of schools
- Floor plans, including room and suite numbers
- Building access points
- Locations of hazardous materials and utility shut-offs
- Any other relevant location information.
Mapping data must be updated as necessary and revised copies shall be provided to applicable or designated law enforcement entities.
The bill will take effect immediately and first apply for the upcoming 2023-24 school year.
“Our team continues to closely collaborate with our law enforcement and education-sector partners statewide as we work to roll out this innovative mapping technology which will serve as a critical tool for first responders by equipping them with a basic visual understanding of a building, school or location. In the event we need to coordinate an emergency response, this measure can and will save lives,” said New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness Director Laurie R. Doran.
The Governor and State legislature have been very active this year in signing legislation to protect students and teachers. Other legislation includes:
- A-6258/S-4309, signed in January, appropriates a total of $5,150,531 from the “Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act” to provide grants for school security projects in New Jersey school districts. The funding was allocated to installing silent panic alarms to alert law enforcement during an emergency as required by Alyssa’s Law, as well as other school security upgrades.
- A-5727/S-3726, also signed in January, requires school security drills to be age-appropriate and prevent unnecessary traumatization of schoolchildren. Among other requirements, the legislation prohibits the use of fake blood, real or prop firearms or the simulations of gunshots or explosions in school security drills
- A4075/3229, signed in August, requires the board of education in each school district and the board of trustees in each charter school or renaissance school in the state to develop and adopt a policy for the establishment of a threat assessment team at their respective schools
“Given the rise in school shootings and other school-related emergencies around the country, it is paramount that, in addition to strengthening gun safety laws and bolstering mental health services, we also do all we can to protect our students through providing law enforcement and first responders with every available tool that could help save lives,” said Senator Lagana. “Access to critical incident mapping data, including digital floor plan mapping, will better prepare local law enforcement and first responders in the case of any emergency situation.”
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