The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Herald staff | rking@heraldnet.com
Published: Tuesday, April 30, 2013, 10:48 a.m.

Why so many mobile phones got Amber Alert

Many of us woke up over the weekend to "text"-style phone messages about an Amber Alert out of Montana. (The child was found safely.)

Turns out some folks have been complaining about receiving the alert.

The Washington State Patrol on Monday sent out an explanation about how the alerts work and why.

They're explained even more in depth here.

In summary, these kinds of alerts are sort of new as the technology develops. The program began this year. You can opt out of some alerts -- not all -- by following the directions in that link or working with your wireless provider, according to the WSP. (Provider specific information also is available at that link.)

However, police are asking you not to do that.

Here's part of the message from WSP Lt. Ron Mead:

"It's the WSP's hope that people don't 'opt out' of these advisories that serve a very useful purpose in broadcasting important updates about abducted children and are committed to ensure (the alerts are) being used at an appropriate time of day to avoid citizens 'opting out' of the (alerts) program.

It's important to remember that the reason for an AMBER Alert is to assist in the recovery of an abducted child believed to be in danger. Issuing an AMBER Alerts has assisted in the successful recovery of over 640 children from their abductors nationwide. That number includes this weekend's successful recovery of Brayden Blasius who had been abducted from the state of Montana. He was located in Fife, WA and police there are giving full credit to the AMBER Alert system for the successful recovery."

More info: Wireless Emergency Alerts on Your Mobile Device

Story tags » PoliceTechnology (general)Missing Persons

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