N.J. schools to provide digital maps of buildings to help LEOs responding to emergencies
"Providing our LE and responders with the critical incident mapping data will aid them in their efforts in case of an emergency at a school," Gov. Phil Murphy said
By Matt Arco
TRENTON, N.J. — All schools in New Jersey will be required to provide police floor plans, arial images, and other information to create digital maps of the buildings in an effort to help first responders in the event of mass shootings and other emergencies.
Gov. Phil Murphy signed the measure into law Wednesday. It includes all public and private schools and goes into effect for the 2023-24 school year.
“We have seen, time and time again, public mass shootings taking place across our country,” Murphy said in a statement.
“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,” the Democratic governor added. “This administration, in partnership with our legislative partners, will continue to put the health and safety of our students first, and this is another step forward in our efforts to protect our students and teachers.”
The action comes three months after Murphy announced the state would use $6.5 million in federal funds to finish creating digital maps of all the state’s schools for law enforcement to access. The money was from coronavirus relief funds under the American Rescue Plan.
The state began creating digital blueprints of schools in 2019, using Collaborative Response Graphics software developed by the U.S. military. So far, police departments have maps for about half of New Jersey’s 3,000 public and private schools.
Police departments have maps for about half of New Jersey’s 3,000 public and private schools. The federal aide was meant to map the roughly 1,500 other schools.
So-called 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.
Murphy said in August the system is more efficient than having police rely on bulky traditional blueprints.