Sunday 15 September, 2019

Griffith: TTPS red alert is NOT national alert

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith is seeking to explain that the police service's current alert state is in no way a national alert.

In a release issued on Thursday evening, Griffith noted that an Alert State, while new to this country, has been used in other nations for years. He said an Amber Alert is used in New York and is activated when there is reasonable cause to believe that there has been an abduction of a child. Additionally, there is also the US Terrorist Alert State which is colour coded and increases or decreases based on the levels of the threat. Griffith said London also has a similar colour code measure for specific threats.

According to Griffith, such a system assists the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) in identifying the scale of the threat and allows the relevant unit to ascertain how much and to what extent of intensified enforcement, should be used based on the threat.

He said the concept of there being a higher than normal risk and telling the TTPS to “beef up security”, is hollow, as it does not give a specific mandate upon which the TTPS may go to an extreme action when the threat was not that serious or vice versa.

Basic Concept:

GREEN – Low level of threat and regular law enforcement procedures to be acted upon.

AMBER – General or perceived increase in a threat, whereby there would be an intensified mobilization of resources and operational procedures to a Green Alert.

RED – Significant or high level of threat based on a particular incident. Again triggering an even greater mobilization and operational mode.

BLACK – There is imminent threat or it has already occurred, mandating the TTPS to mobilize every available resource to eliminate the threat or the incident.

Griffith said this system now removes the outdated system and as this new system rolls out, all TTPS personnel would be more familiar with the colour code and the requirement from every region, every station and every individual.

The Top Cop is stressing that this is NOT a National Alert, but a coded system to assist the TTPS in the performance of its duties.

A National Alert State has been approved in December 2013 which is a Public Warning and Information policy for public awareness.

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