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Upton, Cicilline Bipartisan Active Shooter Alert Act Bill Approved by House

Washington, July 13, 2022 | Jamal Ware (202 - 225 - 3761)

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today welcomed House approval of the Active Shooter Alert Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Upton and U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., to create a program similar to the AMBER Alert system for law enforcement to alert the public to active shooters in their community.

“This bill is about keeping our communities safe and supporting law enforcement,” Upton said. “By alerting the public to an ongoing active shooter threat, we can help folks avoid the area and better enable police and first responders to focus on ending the situation and saving lives. I have heard from our law enforcement and police chiefs that active shooter alerts can be a vital tool to provide accurate, real-time information to our communities, and one they believe will help in these dangerous situations.”  

Among the many challenges facing law enforcement during active shooter crises is preventing additional victims from unknowingly walking into the line of fire. Law enforcement and other independent review commissions have urged improvements in local emergency communications systems.
 
The Active Shooter Alert Act helps fund the police by appointing an Active Shooter Alert Coordinator within in the Department of Justice. The coordinator would offer federal training, technical support, and best practices to local and state law enforcement officials to effectively improve or implement active shooter alert systems. Support would be available for law enforcement on a voluntary basis to improve their system for letting civilians know to stay away and stay safe.

Resources would include guidance developed by subject matter experts, such as recommendations on making alerts in the vicinity of a shooter silent so the shooter is not alerted to those sheltered in place, or advice on what information is most effective to include in public alerts and how alerts should be sent.

“Sadly, our schools, houses of worship, or people simply going about their lives, as we tragically saw here in Kalamazoo in 2016 when an Uber driver murdered six people and wounded two, are not exempt from violence,” Upton said. “This bill is not about the Second Amendment, it’s about public awareness, and law enforcement supports it as a way to save lives. They provide Congress with text alerts on our phones whenever there is a threat, so why would we deny the same for our communities at home.”

H.R. 6538, The Active Shooter Alert Act, is endorsed by National Sherriff’s Association, Major Cities Chiefs Associations, National Association of Police Organizations, Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), National Police Foundation, and the National District Attorneys Association. The bill was approved in the House by a vote of 260 to 169.

Watch Rep. Upton’s remarks on the House Floor in support of the bill HERE.

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