To better prepare school officials and law enforcement to respond to emergencies on school grounds, such as an active shooter scenario, legislation to require New Jersey schools to provide maps and blueprints of campuses to police received final legislative approval Monday, passing the full Assembly by a vote tally of 76-0-1. The bill was sponsored by Assemblymen Gary Schaer, Clinton Calabrese and Chris Tully.
“Every second counts during an emergency,” said Schaer (D-Bergen, Passaic). “Providing law enforcement with this information in advance can help save time and lives during a crisis.”
The bill would require public and nonpublic schools to give local law enforcement authorities a copy of the current blueprints and maps for all schools and school grounds within the district, including nonpublic schools. If a school is located in a municipality with no municipal police department, a copy of the blueprints and maps would be provided to an entity designated by the Superintendent of State Police.
“If officers have knowledge of the layout of a school, they have a tremendous advantage if they need to respond to a threat,” said Calabrese (D-Bergen, Passaic). “It’s imperative that we make sure law enforcement has the tools they need to protect students and staff.”
“Tragically, we’ve seen far too many schools across the country face active shooter threats and other emergencies,” said Tully (D-Bergen, Passaic). “We must do everything possible to ensure our first responders are prepared and ready to address any emergency situation.”
Prior to gaining Assembly approval, the bill passed the Senate 38-0. The measure now heads to the Governor’s desk.