Every once in a while certain events happen, and the way humanity reacts makes me lose faith in the goodness of people; of course I am talking about the way people have been reacting to the new Amber Alert system.
Since the Alert Ready System’s launch, there have been an influx of complaints from the public, usually when an Amber Alert is issued late at night or in the early morning.
In order to try to combat these complaints, I want to talk about the history of Amber Alerts. The Amber Alert System originally started in Texas, after a young girl named Amber was abducted in 1996, and did not survive. After that, an initiative was started to create an early warning system to alert the public of missing and abducted children.
Since 1996, the system spread across the rest of the United States and into Canada, and became the system we know today.
After learning the history, I wanted to know more about the process and the success rate of the system everyone seems to love complaining about. I asked Constable Anil Maharaj of Durham Regional Police Services (DRPS) North Division about this. He explained there is a committee which lays out parameters of what a child abduction involves, if those specific parameters are met it is an automatic Amber Alert, and is sent out to the media, cell phones, and other channels in order to get out the information as quickly as possible. Because the new system goes to people’s cell phones, the success rate of finding the missing/abducted child increases.
It is my opinion, people are always on their phones, so the Amber Alert will be seen by more of the public and the chances of finding the child safe will increase.
“The new system I think is highly successful, because we are doing something about it,” said Constable Maharaj.
Finally, I wanted to ask Constable Maharaj if he could say one thing to the complainers, what would it be? His answer, “What is the best system you could come up with that will get important information regarding a child’s life out quickly?”