Are We Using Amber Alert Correctly?


Does an Amber Alert belong on the same system that announces severe weather systems, tsunamis, and wide-spread health alerts?

I saw some chatter on The Bull Facebook earlier debating about whether we are using the Amber Alert system correctly.   Currently, when an Amber Alert is issued by a police station anywhere in the area, the media goes into full alert mode.  All TV stations report it, and all radio stations tap into the Emergency Alert System so the message is relayed far and wide.  However, it was suggested that this was overkill in the comments section.  Is it?

Personally, I don’t think it is.  If somebody’s car gets stolen, it would be overkill.  If bank robbers were fleeing the scene and police were in chase, that would still be overkill.  But this is an abducted child we’re talking about.  Within minutes, nearly everybody near a TV, radio, or Facebook is flooded with images and information.  Perhaps you don’t do much, but you’ll have a look around if you’re driving your car.  You’ll log the face of the little kid away and keep half an eye out while you buy milk.  It’s the design of the system, and I think it works great.

Look at today!  The kid in The Dalles (Skylar) was found within the hour, and the perpetrator arrested.  Incidentally, this kid grew up 5 blocks from the house I grew up in in The Dalles.  He lived in the 200 block of W. 9th St; I lived in the 700 block.  Does this make it more urgent because I knew the kid?  No.  But it does make it hit a little closer to home, hence the blog post.