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New public threat alert system operational 


LANSING—Effective last Thursday, September 22, the threat alert system created by Public Act 235 of 2016 became operational.

This new alerting system can be used in cases where there is a public threat, which is defined as a clear, present, persistent, ongoing and random threat to public safety. A public threat includes, but is not limited to an act of terrorism, an unresolved mass shooting, or an unresolved mass shooting spree.

Upon activation by law enforcement, similar to how an AMBER Alert is issued, the Emergency Alert System can be utilized to interrupt radio and television broadcasting in the affected region. A Wireless Emergency Alert can also be issued through mobile carriers, which will appear on mobile devices similar to a 90-character text message.

“It is extremely important to make the public aware of a potentially life threatening situation, as accurately and quickly as possible, so our residents can stay out of harm’s way,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the Michigan State Police (MSP). “Nearly everyone has access to a mobile phone, and unlike other emergency notifications, you do not have to opt-in to receive these important alerts.”

The Public Threat Alert System is activated by the MSP Operations Unit upon request of law enforcement, when the following criteria are met:

• A specific and identifiable threat exists that is not a natural disaster.

• The threat is immediate and ongoing.

• The threat impacts the safety and welfare of the general public.

• The suspect(s) have not been apprehended and remain a threat to public safety.

• An area-wide broadcast via the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN) has been issued.

• Sufficient information to protect the public from danger is available to disseminate.

State Rep. Brandt Iden, R-Oshtemo, who sponsored the legislation creating the Public Threat Alert System added, “I’d like to thank the MSP and Gov. Rick Snyder for their assistance and coordinated efforts in implementing this precautionary measure and bringing it online so quickly. It has and always will be my intention to ensure the public safety of all Michigan residents and my hope is that we never have to use this system; however, if tragedy should strike our local communities rest assured you will be alerted promptly.”

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