LANSING — State Representative Jon Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo) testified on House Bill 5449 today in the House Communications and Technology Committee. The lawmaker drafted the policy after a suggestion from Kalamazoo Sheriff Rick Fuller, who was sparked to action after an incident on Saturday, Feb. 20, left six people dead when a gunman drove around Kalamazoo, allegedly targeting his victims at random.
Hoadley’s bill would specifically create penalties for a false report of an active shooter situation.
“Creating legislation such as this due to an actual instance where it was needed weighs heavily on me, but that pushes me to see that it’s passed quickly and put into use without delay,” Hoadley said. “My bill would make sure once this tool is implemented, it is treated with the utmost respect and only used in cases of emergency, and dissuade any ‘cry wolf’ situations from taking place.”
Rep. Hoadley partnered with state Rep. Brandt Iden (R-Oshtemo Twp.) to introduce the alert-system bill package. Iden’s bill, HB 5442, creates the alert system itself. When passed, the alert system could be used to warn people of active shooter events, possible terrorism or other threats.
“Given the tragic events of Feb. 20, Rep. Hoadley and I felt it was of the utmost importance to come together to bring bipartisan solutions to our community,” Rep. Iden said. “I am pleased that we were able to work together on this legislation and bring it closer to becoming law.”