August 21, 20141105Views

Photo Caption: Commissioner of
Police, David Morris and DDM’s Deputy Director, Ms. Evangeline Inniss place
their respective signatures on the MOU between the RVIPF and the DDM.  

The Department
of Disaster Management (DDM) and the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF)
have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), formalising cooperation
between the two.

The agreement authorises
the RVIPF to activate the various emergency alert systems if it is determined
that the BVI faces immediate threat from a local tsunami and contact cannot be
made with the DDM.

The MOU builds
upon the provisions made as part of the BVI TsunamiReady status which included
the identification of the RVIPF Control Room as the
Tsunami Warning Focal Point. The RVIPF will
also be responsible for the execution of relevant components of the tsunami
notification protocol.

Commenting on
the MOU after the signing, Commissioner of Police, David Morris said he is very
pleased to continue working in partnership with the DDM and he noted the pivotal
role played by the RVIPF in providing round the clock early warning capability
for the BVI.

susceptibility of the BVI to earthquakes is well known, as is the threat of
tsunamis. With the RVIPF Control Room identified as the
Tsunami Warning Focal Point, this MOU essentially
gives us the authority to activate the system on behalf of the DDM and ensures
that the BVI has 24/7 early warning capability,” he said.

“Officers of the Police Control Room have been receiving
ongoing training to familiarise them with the protocols and procedures in the
event of an imminent tsunami. 

I take this opportunity to reaffirm the commitment of
the RVIPF to continue working in partnership with DDM to ensure that proactive
measures are being put in place to save lives in the event of such a threat to
the BVI community,” the Commissioner stated.

DDM’s Deputy Director, Ms. Evangeline Inniss, who signed
on behalf of the department, noted that both departments share a long-standing
relationship and the MOU simply formalises that agreement. She also explained
that the agreement is a necessary step in maintaining TsunamiReady
certification for the BVI.

“Comprehensive disaster management requires a collaborative
approach and in ongoing pursuit of this, the DDM actively pursues partnerships
with various sectors. Our interaction with the RVIPF is a necessary partnership
and the MOU we have signed today gives legal authority to the police to act on
our behalf if or when it becomes necessary. Our goal is to reduce the loss of
lives, livelihoods and property and safeguard development gains made in the Territory
and the 24-hour operation of the RVIPF provides the 24/7 early warning capacity
that will alert the public if we face imminent impact,” Ms. Inniss said.

She added, “The RVIPF Control Room has been equipped
with the same capability as the DDM to activate our various early warning
systems and that capability has been tested. If we were to face a tsunami
threat at midnight and the DDM office is closed, residents can be assured that they
will be notified through that mechanism.”