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RCMP emergency alert policy in place nearly two years after N.S. shooting spree

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RCMP communications official admits warning was delayed during N.S. mass shooting – Jun 8, 2022

Nearly two years after it was criticized for not issuing an emergency alert during a 13-hour-long killing spree in Nova Scotia, the RCMP finally has a national Alert Ready policy in place.

The eight-page internal policy came into force on March 1 and was provided to The Canadian Press by the RCMP.

It outlines the circumstances in which a public alert can be used, including active shooter situations, terrorist attacks, riots and natural disasters.

Read more: Active shooter training still not sufficient following Portapique: paramedic union

The policy states that supervisors or unit commanders can approve a request for an alert, weighing its urgency and severity, and notes that there will be an increase in calls once the alert goes out.

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In April 2020, gunman Gabriel Wortman murdered 22 people in Nova Scotia, dressed as a cop and driving a mock police car, and the emergency alert system was never activated to warn the public.

Read more: Nova Scotia residents grieving the April 2020 mass shooting still seeking help

The RCMP has said it was in the process of drafting an alert when the gunman was killed by police, but the ongoing public inquiry into the shootings has also revealed that senior officers were not aware of how to use the system.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 17, 2022.

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