I have no problem with getting Amber Alerts on my phone and doing my bit to help track down a missing child and I understand that these situations are urgent and will sometimes take place at inconvenient hours; that's how life is sometimes and a missing child is worth some special effort. I also understand that the police don't always have a clear - or correct idea - of where the child or parent is or is headed. That means we may get notifications that are quite distant from where we actually live. That too is a reality and I accept it.
However, I do think the Amber Alert system could be better and wanted to ask if some changes are possible?
- I got TWO alerts this morning for the same child; one was in English only, the other was in English and French. They were roughly 40 minutes apart and caused me to be woken AGAIN. I get that some Ontarians are more comfortable in French than English - although every Northern Ontarian I ever met was fluent in both languages - so could the system possibly be changed so that only ONE alert was issued and that was the one that was bilingual?
- In my case - I don't know about anyone else - the first alert repeated again and again and again at short intervals - 2 minutes? 5 minutes? - until I got out of bed and finally clicked the OK button. I don't know if that was a phone setting or something forced by the Amber Alert setting but I'd dearly love for that behaviour to stop! PLEASE, let it appear ONCE and then stop nagging me and NOT force me to get out of bed to shut it off. Then there's a reasonable chance that I can fall back asleep. I have huge problems getting back to sleep when woken in the middle of the night and it messes up my whole day. I already have the volume of my phone set quite low and I might actually manage a decent night's sleep if the buzzing would stop fairly promptly. In all honesty, I am unlikely to get out of bed in the middle of the night to go stand on my porch to see if the abductor's vehicle just happens to pass by in front of my house, especially when it is believed to be a long way from here, like Sudbury. I'm even less likely to hop into my vehicle and drive many kilometers to the expected path of the abductor to see if I can spot his or her license plate.
- Is there any possibility that the Amber Alert system can detect that a given phone is stationary and hasn't moved in, say, an hour and then NOT call that number? That would almost certainly be someone that is asleep and unlikely to be watching for the missing vehicle who might NEED that sleep to function the next day.
I'm happy to say that the little boy who was the subject of this morning's alert was found, with his mother, alive and well and the whole thing was just a misunderstanding. That's great! But I know these things don't always turn out quite so well; an Amber Alert a couple of months back turned into a dead child; I believe the abductor, the father, also took his own life. I understand the importance of these alerts and the potential to prevent tragedies. I would simply like the system to reduce the scope of the alerts to people who have at least some potential to help, if that's possible.
Best answer by Rhino
As for Timo's point, he may be right that this setting is ignored in Canada due to the CRTC's rules; I won't know about that until the next alert.