Thursday’s multiple Amber Alerts have led to more people calling in to 911 to complain than to assist in finding the two-year-old girl who was abducted by her father Wednesday evening, according to the Toronto Sun’s Graeme Gordon.
“There were approximately 100 calls in the 911 queue,” explains Toronto Police Const. Allyson Douglas-Cook, adding “over forty were confirmed to be from people complaining. One woman in particular advised that the only way the Amber Alert ‘problem’ was going to stop would be to flood 911 with calls, she then called back a number of times.
“Some calls were from people calling to ask what happened, and a number were from people asking how they could assist.”
Thankfully, despite the 100 calls backing up 911’s queue, the child was found, and the father and his three accomplices have been arrested. But this only triggered another province-wide Amber Alert.
“The complaints we’re receiving (Thursday morning weren’t) necessarily just people from our community, they’re people from Oshawa, GTA, Ottawa,” said Brantford Police Const. Shane Seibert.
According to the Toronto Sun’s Graeme Gordon, Brantford Police were swamped by such reports as “3 o’clock in the f–king morning—no—I haven’t seen her. This went off five f–king times. I am in Oshawa. What in the f–k are you thinking?”
Since the Amber Alert, a Change.org petition to penalize people who call 911 to voice their complaints against 911’s invasive use of Amber Alerts has gained traction. At the time of writing this article, 95,000 signatures out of 150,000 have been collected.
“The Amber alert woke me up that night, but all I remember was being worried about the girl and praying she would be found safe (as it happens in most Amber Alerts cases),” writes Dalia Monacelli, the petition’s author.
“While this was happening,” she continues, “some people (a lot of people) decided to start calling the emergency lines to COMPLAIN about the Amber Alert because it woke them up and “they couldn’t do anything about it anyway” or they were “too far” from where the Amber Alert had originated.
“The father had been found THANKS to the Amber Alert, but it was already too late.”
She finishes her petition by calling for a penalty for those who call to complain, characterizing them as “absurd” and noting the success of the new Amber Alert notification method.