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Uvalde-Inspired School Safety Measure With Tulare Connection Passes Assembly

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Law enforcement trains with the ActVnet software at Sundale Union School in Tulare in 2022. (Tulare County Office of Education)
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Inspired by the Uvalde school shooting massacre, Assemblymember Devon Mathis wants California to take additional security measures.

Introduced last year but getting its hearings now, AB 960 “would encourage public and charter schools to install app-based or web-based security systems to protect the lives of California’s students and staff in the event of an active shooter incident or natural disaster.”

The bill received a 66-0 vote on the Assembly floor last Thursday, including all of the Central Valley delegation. It will next be heard in the state Senate rules committee for further assignment.

“Our children deserve to be able to attend school in peace; however, as long as there are evil people in the world intent on harming them, I want our schools to have the best and most modern security possible,” said Mathis (R-Porterville) in a news release.

Unlike the response time in the 2022 Uvalde, Texas massacre, Mathis said, a program called ActVnet — developed by the Tulare County Office of Education — cut that time to 53 seconds, in testing. The program was already in development before Uvalde.

“When an incident occurs, there is an automatic button that is hit that alerts our first responders,” Mathis said on the Assembly floor.

About ActVnet

According to ActVnet’s website, the software would allow law enforcement access to school information, including maps, cameras, and messaging.

“Tulare County Office of Education received input into the development of the program and its features from law enforcement, educators, first responders, fire department personnel, and health and medical professionals. The architecture of the program and its features were designed by TCOE,” said TCOE Superintendent Tim Hire.

TCOE spent $1.75 million to develop ActVnet, with Group 22 contracted to write the code. The district said 57 schools in Tulare and Kings counties already use the program, with another 25 schools in the area in various stages of implementation.

[Correction, 1/23/24: the name of the company TCOE is partnering with is Group 22, not Studio 22 as reported.]

Fortunately, no school has had to use ActVnet in an active shooter situation, but there have been three training sessions.

“During debriefs of these tests, law enforcement personnel reported feeling safer and experiencing significantly reduced time to apprehend the suspect. First responders also shared a decreased response time to triage the victims,” Hire said.

TCOE is awaiting a response to copyright the program. As a public institution, TCOE cannot profit from the sale of the program but can charge to recoup costs. Hire says charges for other schools are tiered between $15,000 to $40,000 for setup, and an annual maintenance fee of 25% of the setup fee.


Also in Politics 101 …

  • Former congressmember hearing delayed again;
  • Trouble in Lindsay?
  • Coalinga doctor gets state promotion.

Cox Criminal Hearing Delayed, Again

TJ Cox

Justice is moving slowly in the federal fraud case against former congressmember TJ Cox. Both Cox and the federal government agreed to delay a status conference scheduled for Jan. 24 to March 27.

The Fresno Democrat, who served one term in Congress from 2019-2021, faces 28 counts of fraud, money laundering, and illegal campaign contributions.

Since his first court appearance on Aug. 16, 2022, a follow-up status conference has been continued six times.

Evidence is “extremely voluminous,” the joint request for the most recent delay said, later signed by Magistrate Judge Barbara McAuliffe.

“Counsel for defendant desires additional time to consult with his client, to review the current charges, to conduct further investigation and research related to the charges, to continue to review voluminous discovery including any supplemental discovery, to receive and consider any plea offer received from the goverment [sic], and to evaluate potential pretrial motions,” the motion said.

Trouble in Lindsay?

The Sun-Gazette has an interesting piece about the trouble between the city manager and police chief in Lindsay.

Acting city manager Armando da Silva placed police chief Rick Carrillo on administrative leave. The newspaper reported that Carrillo allegedly leaked information about da Silva’s request to the city for additional compensation.

Another interesting development in this case is that Lindsay Mayor Hipolito Angel Cerros will no longer campaign for a South Valley state Assembly seat — currently occupied by Mathis, who isn’t running for re-election. Cerros’ name will still appear on the ballot.

Read more here.

Gov Promotes State Hospital Doctor

Gov. Gavin Newsom promoted a doctor at California Department of State Hospitals, Coalinga. Serge Mistivar, the chief physician and surgeon at the facility which focuses on treating sexually violent predators, will now serve as Chief of Primary Care Services.

Mistivar has worked at DSH-Coalinga since 2020. Previously, he worked at facilities in Florida.

The promotion comes with a bump in pay. Mistivar will earn a base salary of $356,724.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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