by Bruce Walker
A new House bill introduced by a Republican legislator aims to amend Michigan’s Revised School Code to grant school boards the authority to share critical incident mapping data to local law enforcement agencies for school safety purposes.
Government Operations Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Mueller, R-Linden, discussed House Bill 6042 before the House GOC on Thursday. Mueller stated his desire to use the state budget process to fund CMI. School safety spending budgeted by the House earlier this week includes $200 million for school safety grants, in addition to $50 million for school resource officers and $8.4 million for each intermediate school district to hire a mental health coordinator and an emergency and safety manager.
According to a House Fiscal Agency analysis, Mueller’s proposed “bill would have no fiscal impact on the state or on school districts, intermediate school districts or public school academies.”
CIM “uses satellite imagery to provide up-to-date, interactive, and shared schematics of a building and to map out responses to a critical incident” such as an active school shooter. A grid is placed over the satellite image to articulate specific locations within the school. In his committee testimony Mueller noted not every responding officer or emergency responder is familiar enough with a school’s layout to recognize a directive stating a potential shooter is in the gymnasium or cafeteria.
“Responding to a critical incident like an active shooter is very hectic. It’s a high stress situation and communications can break down quickly – especially if you’re not familiar with the area,” Mueller, a retired sheriff’s deputy, tactical operator, and veteran, said in a statement. “I could be on my radio telling everyone that the shooter is in the art room, but that’s not going to mean anything unless the others on scene are familiar with the school. With a critical incident map, everyone can see that the art room is in grid F7 on the southeast side of the school and respond accordingly.”
HB6042 would allow Michigan school districts to substitute CMI information in place of building plans, blueprints, or school site plans required since 2000.
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Bruce Walker is a regional editor at The Center Square. He previously worked as editor at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s MichiganScience magazine and The Heartland Institute’s InfoTech & Telecom News.