The RCMP in B.C. despatched out an emergency textual content alert for the primary time in its historical past on Thursday, updating its coverage about utilizing the system after the lethal mass capturing that killed 22 folks in Nova Scotia final 12 months.

Police despatched textual content alerts to a number of thousand folks within the Vanderhof, B.C., space round midday in response to stories of a person concentrating on an RCMP contingent with an extended gun.

The priority, the RCMP stated, was that the suspect had a automobile and was driving by means of the neighborhood. Alert stated there was an lively shooter and instructed residents to remain inside and lock their doorways, sending employees and youngsters inside in the course of the lunch break.

Inside an hour, the suspect was arrested and the lockdown was lifted.

Nobody obtained harm.

BC Police up to date insurance policies within the final 18 months

In a while Thursday, the RCMP confirmed that it was the primary time a straight-to-phone textual content system, often called Alert Prepared, had been utilized in B.C. because the know-how grew to become out there three years in the past.

The broad coverage in BC has all the time been to order the nationwide system for tsunamis, however that modified after the tragedy on the opposite facet of the nation final 12 months, police stated.

Eric Stubbs, assistant commissioner of prison operations with the RCMP, stated: “The power to challenge police emergency alerts since 2020 has been a subject of debate and development on account of the tragic incident in Nova Scotia.”

Stubbs stated the B.C. Affiliation of Chiefs of Police shaped a committee to “set up protocols and procedures” when the police division wanted to ship alerts. He stated police now have the choice of utilizing the system after they have cause to consider that an lively risk to officers is creating too rapidly.

An alert was despatched on Thursday to folks inside a 150-kilometer radius of Vanderhof, which is about 100 kilometers west of Prince George.

A neighborhood police emergency alert was issued in Vanderhof, B.C. on Thursday following stories of an lively shooter in the neighborhood. The RCMP stated anybody within the space would obtain the textual content. (Andrew Kurjata/CBC)

“We selected a big radius outdoors Vanderhof, noting that the suspect was cell and driving,” Stubbs stated, including that it was a “dynamic scenario.”

The gunman liable for final 12 months’s capturing in Nova Scotia was additionally driving.

To keep away from arrest by posing as a police officer, the shooter went into 4 totally different communities throughout the province and killed 22 folks over the course of about 13 hours.

In line with data obtained by the CBC, the RCMP solely knowledgeable the Nova Scotia authorities that it meant to ship an emergency alert 5 minutes earlier than police shot the gunman.

Family members of these killed stated lives may have been saved had they identified extra concerning the shootings. An investigation has been set as much as see how police and varied federal and provincial companies responded, and the way victims, their households and residents had been notified.

Final week, after experiencing the worst flooding occasion in many years in southern BC, the province stated it plans to vary its protocol to make use of the Alert Prepared system by subsequent summer time.

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