Murphy earmarks $6.5M in ARP funds for school safety initiative

Gov. Phil Murphy on Aug. 30 revealed details to use $6.5 million in remaining American Rescue Plan funds to outfit about 1,500 school buildings around New Jersey with mapping technology that can assist first responders during emergencies.

“An important part of school safety is ensuring that first responders have the tools they need to answer any emergency of any size and at any time,” Murphy said from East Brook Middle School in Paramus. “When every second matters, the first and perhaps most important tool is the ability to know without delay not just where an emergency is in a building, but also the fastest and safest route to get there.”

The mapping technology involves the use of Collaborative Response Graphics (CRGs), which Murphy described as “accurate renderings of buildings clearly showing interior and exterior layouts, including rooms and hallways, and delineating all entryways and exits.” CRGs are compatible with existing software platforms, he added, “and can easily [be] accessed and understood.”

The project should be finished by the start of the 2023-24 school year, Murphy said.