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'Please no more alerts': people complain about Amber Alert, again

Last Updated Mar 18, 2019 at 6:43 am PDT

EDMONTON (CITYNEWS) – “Thanks for waking me up a-holes, this should not be province-wide,” reads a tweet that was published minutes after Albertans learned of missing Edmonton child.

At 9:42 p.m. Friday, Edmonton police issued an Amber Alert for a missing eight-year-old boy. At 9:45 p.m. electronic devices buzzed and rang with an emergency alert telling people to be on the lookout for this boy and his abductor.

The child was said to be in “imminent danger.”

A follow-up alert with new information was sent at 11:38 p.m.

It didn’t take long for people on social media to complain about how late in the evening the alerts were sent out.

“I get it sucks but it’s a nuisance to the public as everyone gets notified.”

Another tweet reads, “I hope they fine-tune this system more. People hundreds of kilometres away from the Amber Alert area being woken up by a loud alarm in the middle of the night is ridiculous.”

“Lay of the stupid alerts at 23:30 morons.”

“Please no more alerts, we are all on the lookout and checking for updates on all the various sites.”

“How does an eardrum-bursting alarm help anyone?”

“This screaming sounds of alert is not even helpful for the missing child in Edmonton.”

This doesn’t come as too much of a surprise to some after hundreds of complaints were posted to social media in February after an emergency alert went out for an Amber Alert in Ontario.

And while everyone may not agree the alert was necessary, Edmonton Police say they take alerts very seriously.

“It’s unfortunate if people are upset about receiving an Amber Alert,” said Staff Sergeant Ashley Emerson.

“Obviously that’s why we don’t take using the Amber Alert system lightly. We take it very, very seriously and we only use it in a situation where it’s necessary.”

READ MORE: OPINION: People who whined about the Amber Alert are horrible people

He suggests if the emergency alerts are a true bother to someone they should speak to their service provider on how to “power down” the alerts through the night.

“We certainly wouldn’t want to lose this system, obviously we can see the benefit of it. We were able to safely recover this eight-year-old as a result of this system. We’re very happy to have it. And I believe the majority of citizens are willing to assist us in these investigations.”

Those people willing to help were also vocal on social media Friday night into Saturday morning–some calling out the people complaining for being “selfish”. Others shared the original alert and were understanding of investigators’ efforts in making sure the threshold was met before issuing an alert.

“Every second counts,” reads one tweet in response to a complaint. “Imagine if it was someone you knew. You’d want the alert sent.”

Another Twitter user says the alerts are a minor inconvenience for people receiving them in favour of helping a child in danger.