Emergency alerts are used for a variety of reasons. They were most recently used to alert of unsafe water in Grand Lake, but more importantly, they can save lives in the most dangerous of times.
Alerts have been issued 12 times for events over the past year, nine of which were police related matters.
The Province of Nova Scotia and police work together to ensure consistency and protocols are in place for issuing police-related alerts, including a recent review and collaboration on the effective use of the Alert Ready System.
Nova Scotia RCMP and Halifax Regional Police now have direct access to the Alert Ready System. The option is available to other policing services across the province if they choose.
Previously a police force had to contact the province’s Emergency Management Office to issue an alert on the system.
“Protecting the public is serious and difficult work, and we know that in certain situations alerts are one of the tools that can help to do that,” said Brendan Maguire, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Minister responsible for the Emergency Management Office (EMO).
“The alert system is something we have every confidence in, whether alerts are issued by police or EMO.”
By giving police direct access and training RCMP and HRP on the system, they now have the ability to send an alert when they believe there to be an imminent threat to the public.
EMO continues to issue police-related alerts at the request of all policing agencies in Nova Scotia, and for non-police matters such as floods and forest fires.