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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Amber Alert System Works

Orillia | by Ken Hashizume  

Some people annoyed at message on TV screen but OPP maintain it's needed.

The Amber Alert is being credited for the fast response in finding a missing boy in Orillia.

But the system caused some inconvenience for many people in Ontario.

A message notifying residents of an Amber Alert was flashed across every television screen in the province.

That caused some people to call 9-1-1 not to inform police about the apparent abduction, but to complain about the alert.

Orillia OPP Detachment Commander Inspector Pat Morris admits the alert was an annoyance for some but says they did not have a lot of time to find the missing boy.

He says people can travel a long way in a short period of time and when the Amber Alert was last used in 2015, the child and abductor were found three hours from where the initial incident took place.

Morris says the Amber Alert was altered by the National Alert and Aggregation and Dissemination (NAAD) system and not by the OPP or other law enforcement.

He says it was altered to better get people's attention and it is reviewed on a regular basis.

Morris says in the end they were successful in making sure the boy was safe.

He says while it turned out not to be an abduction, they only had the information that was given to them at the time.

This was the first time the Amber Alert was used in Orillia. It had been used 33 times in Ontario since it's inception 13 year ago.

It was issued around 10 PM on Sunday when an eyewitness noticed a boy was being taken into a minivan by man in the south end of Orillia and was driven away.

It was cancelled an hour later when it was revealed that the man in question was the boy's father and he and the boy's mother were searching for their son after he ran away from home that evening.



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