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Kalamazoo Lawmakers Join Forces To Protect Citizens From Mass Shootings

New bipartisan legislation in the state House would create a statewide active shooter alert system. 

It comes after a shooting spree in Kalamazoo last month that left six people dead and two seriously injured.  State Representative BrandtIden (R-OshtemoTownship) lives near Kalamazoo.  “I was on Stadium Drive getting gas at about the same time that the shooter would have been traveling down Stadium Drive,” said Iden.  “And I said, boy, I would have started to pay a lot more attention had I gotten this notification on my cell phone that said, ‘Brant, be alert.’  And I think a lot of people would as well.”

Under the legislation, the Michigan State Police would send alerts via radio, television, and text messages when there are “urgent and immediate threats” to public safety.  Those include mass shootings and terrorist attacks.  The system would be similar to Michigan’s Amber Alert system for missing children.

Iden is sponsoring one bill to establish the active shooter alert system.  Another was introduced recently by state Representative JonHoadley (D-Kalamazoo).  Iden says the two did not realize they were working in the same direction but have since decided to combine efforts.

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— Jake Neher is the State Capitol Reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org

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