Ohio to return to nighttime Amber Alerts to phones

Officials stopped sending those alerts after a 6:30 a.m. alert on March 12 led some to complain they were unhappy to be awakened.
MCT Regional News
Apr 26, 2013

Amber Alerts about abducted children will be sent to enabled cellphones 24/7, regardless of the hour, Ohio officials announced this afternoon.

State officials stopped sending the alerts to Wireless Emergency-Alert-enabled phones between midnight and 6 a.m. after the loud tone of a 6:30 a.m. alert on March 12 led some to complain they were unhappy to be awakened.

The Ohio Amber Alert Steering Committee met yesterday and unanimously decided to immediately send the alerts to cellphones as they are issued.

“The urgency in finding an abducted child outweighed any potential inconvenience the alert might cause,” said a statement from the committee.

“Criminals abduct children 24 hours a day, so the alert should go out 24 hours a day,” said Linda Maloy, a committee member from Bucyrus whose daughter survived being abducted, raped and shot.

Phones that are part of the Wireless Emergency Alert program receive the notifications automatically. Other phones can be set to receive the text alerts, which are limited to 90 characters and don’t include photos or Web links.

Some other states don't issue Amber Alerts during hours when most people are not on the road to help look for vehicles and missing children, state officials said previously.

The decision came after the committee met yesterday with the special-programs director of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

Phones can receive messages about abductions and extreme-weather emergencies as part of a program involving national cellphone carriers.

Cellphone users can opt out of the messages by changing the settings on their phone or by contacting their carriers if they are automatically enrolled.

Law-enforcement officials urge Ohioans not to disable the alerts so the cellphone users can help locate missing and abducted children.

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By Randy Ludlow - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)

©2013 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)

Visit The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio) at www.dispatch.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Comments

Aprillove13

I cannot believe people were complaining about being woken up from an Amber Alert! They would not be complaining if it was their child or someone in their family! That is just ridiculous! Come on people!

TheLegend

Do you remember when the little girl was lost in the cornfield? Thank god for social media, they were turning people seat because so many showed up to help! People that complain about these things have adopted a life of negativity and it is sad!

starryeyes83

That was within the local area. Big difference.

coolstorybro

I'm glad to hear this! to think, people would rather sleep in then be alerted of a child abduction, that's terrible. I don't care what time of day it is, send out the alerts. a child's life is at stake, you can sleep in tomorrow.

starryeyes83

To get a robo call at 6:30 am (when most people are still sleeping) in NW OHIO for a kid missing from say southern Ohio is assinine and pretty much moot. Ive gotten then on my landline, I don't bother with social media.

swiss cheese kat's picture
swiss cheese kat

People that have adopted social media are still sad and have lots of negativity.

luvblues2

lol. .."says to pot to the kettle"..