B.C.’s public safety minister says the province will review how an emergency text alert was used Monday as police respond to an active shooter situation in Langley, B.C.
text alerts – and two subsequent follow-ups – are the second time police in BC have used an alert ready system; was during the first An event in Vanderhof in 2021 When a man opened fire on the local RCMP contingent.
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While the first alert was issued at 6:20 am, when the police mishandled the suspect, Sgt. David Lee with the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team told the media on Monday that it was released “at an appropriate time” when police were able to piece together the incidents.
First Alert warned people linked to “transient victims” of “multiple shooting scenes” in the Langley City Center area on Monday and provided a suspicious description. A second warning, issued shortly after, said the gunman was no longer a threat, but that police were still investigating whether there were other suspects. In the third and final alert issued late Monday evening, it was said that the situation has been resolved.
Speaking to the media on Monday afternoon, Minister of Public Security and Solicitor General Mike Farnsworth said police were acting with the best of information at the time.
“The police were dealing with a very fluid and dynamic situation, they have learned a lesson from what happened in Nova Scotia and Vanderhof,” Farnsworth said.
“This is only the second time in the province that an active shooter alert has been used. So of course they will review how things were done and the way they were done. ,
The RCMP in Nova Scotia has faced criticism for not issuing an emergency alert during the 2020 shooting spree in which gunman Gabriel Wortman killed 22 people.
RCMP Chief S. Ghalib Bhayani said Monday’s alert was issued after the police met three key criteria.
Why was an emergency alert sent to Lower Mainland cellphones during the shooting in Langley BC?
Those criteria include the belief that there is an active danger and risk of serious harm to the public, an unpredictable and rapidly evolving situation that may challenge the response of the police, and sufficient information about the threat and its geographic area. To be able to clearly communicate how the public can stay safe.
Several Lower Mainland residents took to social media to complain about the alert on Monday, some saying it woke them up, while others who do not live in Langley said they didn’t understand why Why did you get this?
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Bhayani said the decision to broadcast the alert to the wider Lower Mainland region was deliberate.
“The alert was specific to the geographic area where we thought there would be a risk, where we assessed the risk and risk to public safety,” he said.
“Some people from outside Langley are calling and asking why the alert came to us in Burnaby or other jurisdictions. People go to work in Langley in the morning, and the investigation was still on. We’re totally out of that public safety. Were not satisfied – that we had that piece yet.”
Farnsworth said a subsequent review would look into the content of the messages as well as “how and why” the alert was issued.
British Columbia has been testing Alert Ready mobile phone alert systems for several years, and said in May that the system was being expanded to include floods and wildfires.
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