An amber alert is an emergency notification system that notifies the general public about a child abduction incident and asks them to provide their informational support in finding the abducted child. It originated in the United States in 1996 and was implemented in Canada in 2002.
The system was named “Amber” because of a child who was abducted and killed in Texas. In addition to the US and Canada, the system has been adopted by Mexico, Australia, Malaysia, Ecuador, and some European countries.
The Amber Alert notification includes the name and description of the abductee, a description of the suspect, and information about the suspect’s vehicle (if applicable). The message is accompanied by a loud alarming sound, which is the primary reason why some people complained about the system.
“Surviving on only a few hours of sleep thanks to heart attack inducing 3 a.m. Amber Alert wake up call. Is there a way to disable them?” wrote one user on Twitter. Some people are criticizing the Amber Alert system for disturbing their sleep because they will not be able to find a lost child in their “bedroom”, arguing that a text message would be more effective. Some people dialed 911 to complain about the system. Because of that, a petition was launched asking to fine people who call 911 to complain about their sleep being disturbed by the Amber Alert since this is a non-emergency situation and could impact people who require urgent help.
Fortunately, many people support this system, stating that an emergency, especially when involving a child, requires an emergency alert. The Global news Canada created a poll on twitter asking people to vote on fining those who call 911 to complain about the Amber Alert. 91% said yes!