Police say people upset about Amber Alert notifications on their cellphones should not call 911.
Waterloo regional police say they received about 10 calls on both emergency and non-emergency lines Tuesday complaining about being awakened by an alert, which had been issued for a missing three-year-old boy.
“We just would like to remind the public that there is a threshold the police service does need to experience in order to issue an Amber alert and it is for individuals who are in immediate danger,” explains Const. Ashley Dietrich with the WRPS.
Greater Sudbury police issued the alert at about 5 a.m. alleging the boy had been abducted by his mother.
The boy was found safe in Toronto at 8 a.m., and another alert went out to the public.
An Amber Alert goes through a series of steps before it reaches you. First, it’s issued by police, who have to determine a situation meets a set of criteria.
Police then contact the National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination System, operated by Pelmorex, and push the message to alert distributors.
Those distributors are TVs, radios and wireless service providers. Regional police recommend you call your service provider instead of police if you want to complain about receiving alerts.
Toronto police say in a tweet that tying up the 911 lines could mean a slower response to an actual emergency.
Some people posted on Twitter that the Amber Alert system should be changed so it doesn’t wake people living far from where a child goes missing.