Michigan residents can receive alerts regarding serious public safety emergencies, under legislation signed today by Gov. Rick Snyder.
"Leveraging current technology to quickly warn Michiganders of imminent threats will be valuable for preventing greater harm during dangerous incidents and senseless acts of violence," Snyder said.
Senate Bill 976 and House Bills 5442 and 5567, sponsored by state Sen. Mike Nofs and state Reps. Brandt Iden and David Maturen, respectively, establishes a Public Threat Alert System that would rapidly disseminate information about emergencies to radio, television stations and wireless devices.
The bills were drafted in response to the February mass shootings in Kalamazoo County, where a man opened fire in multiple locations, killing six people and injuring two others. Following this tragedy, many Kalamazoo residents called for a warning system that could quickly inform the public of dangerous situations.
The measures also create criminal penalties for anyone who makes a false report, and require offenders to reimburse local agencies for the cost of responding to false reports. They are now Public Acts 234-236 of 2016.