New Law Promotes Use of Critical Incident Mapping to Help Responding Officers at Schools

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently signed a bill into law that has the potential to assist police officers as they respond to active shooter situations and other emergencies in schools.

Michigan House Bill 6042 relies on critical incident mapping to improve the information available to first responders when they arrive at a school during an emergency.

What is critical incident mapping?

Critical incident mapping is a military tool that utilizes satellite imaging to create a real-life depiction of a building and the area surrounding it, including labels of importance. A grid is then placed over the map to help police, fire, and EMS responders articulate the location.

How does the new law affect current requirements?

Since 2000, Michigan school districts have been required to share information with law enforcement in their community to help police respond to incidents on school grounds. This includes building plans, blueprints, or site plans for each school building. The new law gives school districts the option to submit critical incident mapping data instead of building and site plans and blueprints.

What data is required for critical incident mapping?

Critical incident mapping data would have to be compatible with software platforms used by law enforcement, provided in a printable format, and verified for accuracy through a walkthrough of a school building or school grounds.

The information provided would have to include all of the following:

  • Accurate floor plans or current aerial imagery of a school building or school plan;
  • Site-specific labeling that matches the structure of the school building, including room labels, hallway names, external door or stairwell numbers, locations of hazards, key utility locations, key boxes, automated external defibrillators, and trauma kits;
  • Site-specific labeling that matches the school grounds, including parking areas, athletic fields, surrounding roads, and neighboring properties; and
  • Grid overlay with coordinates.

A supplemental budget measure signed into law in June included $12.5 million in grant funding for schools to obtain the maps.

Help is available

The municipal attorneys at O’Reilly Rancilio represent multiple school districts and law enforcement agencies throughout Michigan. For more information on the new law, please call 586-726-1000 or visit our website.

Categories: Municipal