New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has signed legislation today 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.
The bill he signed today requires each board of education, board of trustees, or chief school administrators to provide their local law enforcement authorities or designated law enforcement entities with critical incident mapping data for all schools and school grounds.
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; and
- 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.
Today’s signing follows several other security-related bills to be signed in the last few months, including:
- A-6258/S-4309, signed in January, which 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 the installation of 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, which requires school security drills to be age-appropriate and to prevent unnecessary traumatization of schoolchildren. Among other requirements, the legislation prohibits the use of fake blood, real or prop firearms, or the simulations of gun shots or explosions in school security drills
- A4075/3229, signed in August, which requires the board of education in each school district and 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.