State Rep. Brooks Landgraf files bill to create active shooter alert system

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Published: Nov. 9, 2020 at 9:36 AM CST
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - More than a year ago seven people lost their lives when a mass shooter attacked Odessa.

State Representative Brooks Landgraf is now proposing a new system to better warn Texans when disasters like this strike.

He said when the shooting started it took too long for Odessans to find out they were in danger.

So, Landgraf’s House Bill 103 proposes adding a statewide active shooter alert system that would be run by the already established Texas AMBER alert.

“There clearly wasn’t enough information getting out on Aug 31, so this measure, this alert system is designed to remedy that.”

Here’s how it works.

If a mass shooting is happening within 50 miles, you’ll get a notification like an AMBER alert. So, you’ll know immediately to lock your doors and stay inside.

Landgraf said he got the idea from the families of some of the shooting victims who believe a system like this could have made all the difference on Aug. 31.

For instance, Landgraf pointed to what happened to Leilah Hernandez, an Odessa High School student who was shot and killed an hour after the rampage began.

“Leilah and all her family members had their cell phones with them at that time,” Landgraf said. “If at the outset of the shooting attack, they would have received that notification they could have had that information and used it to take the necessary precautions.”

Of course, Midland and Odessa already did have an alert system for emergencies but didn’t use them the day of the shooting.

We asked Landgraf why a new system would be any different and he said having a user friendly setup would make it easier for cities to get the word out.

“This way we have a statewide system throughout the entire state rather than a patchwork of different systems,” he said. “So, the goal is to make this one more user friendly and to make it more standard and uniform across the state so that it can be more effective.”

He also said on top of this proposal he’s looking into new strategies for law enforcement agencies to communicate between each other during a crisis.

The Texas House and Senate will meet for the 87th legislative session on Jan. 12 where they’ll have a chance to vote on House Bill 103.

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