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School panic alarm bill moving forward, sans “mantraps”

Post by Melissa Santos / The Olympian on Feb. 8, 2013 at 12:42 pm with No Comments »
February 8, 2013 3:26 pm

Bruce Dammeier, R-Puyallup

A proposal for schools to install panic alarms to alert police of an intruder is moving forward in the Senate, though it has been stripped of language that would have required schools to also install “mantraps.”

Senate Bill 5197, sponsored by Sen. Bruce Dammeier, R-Puyallup, would require school districts to implement an alert system by December 2014 to notify law enforcement of an emergency more quickly. Schools could follow guidelines established by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to get their system up and running, the bill says.

An earlier version of the bill would have required new and remodeled schools to install electronic locks that could be activated from a central  office. That language has been watered down in the latest version of the proposal, which now tells districts that they should “strongly consider installing a perimeter security control mechanism” when building new schools or performing renovations.

Also removed from the bill was a plan for “mantraps,” which were defined as “a space designed and constructed to entrap a human.”

The Senate Ways & Means Committee approved Senate Bill 5197 Thursday. It is expected to go to the Senate floor for a vote sometime next week, TVW reports.

You can read more about the bill at TVW’s blog, The Capitol Record.

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