Why the amber alert complaints are so disappointing

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On Feb. 14, a province-wide Amber Alert was issued across Ontario, and caused phones to loudly sound at 11 p.m., succeeding in what it was designed to do — get people’s attention.

An 11-year old little girl, Riya Rajkumar, went missing and police reached out to the public to help them find her.

The Amber Alert was successful in aiding the police in getting to her location, but it was too late. Tragically, Riya was found deceased in her father, Roopesh Rajkumar’s, Brampton home.

The only takeaway and emotion from this incredibly unfortunate circumstance should be remorse for her family and upset that Riya wasn’t found sooner. However, over 300 people called 9-1-1 over the alert to complain.

A mother took to Twitter to whine about the alarm waking up her sleeping child and the lack of consideration the alert had for mothers and their resting babies.

The irony attached to this sort of selfish complaint is almost too much to bear. Regardless of whether or not the alarm woke up a few children and adults that night, they woke up safe in their homes, unharmed and protected.

Those children were able to be put back to bed by their parents and the most they had to put up with was a minor annoyance.

Riya was not that lucky. Her mother will never be able to tuck her in at night again and parent her like she should have always been able to do.

Not only is calling 9-1-1 for this purpose a blatant abuse of emergency services, but it also trivializes the value and purpose that Amber Alerts have in finding missing children who are in potentially life-threatening danger.

To the people that griped about this because it bothered them, disturbed their sleep or whatever other meaningless reasons were given to emergency dispatchers or blasted over social media, the answer is simple: get over yourself.

The alert was the direct reason that Riya’s father and alleged abductor was found and arrested as he was fleeing on the highway.

Police reported that they were able to find Roopesh’s vehicle as a result of tips given by people who recognized the information that was released through the Amber Alert.

Any criticism that exists about this issue should have nothing to do with alert itself, and everything to do with when it was sent out.

Riya’s mother notified the police about her disappearance early in the evening, around 6:30 p.m. and the logical question that remains is whether the alert was issued quickly enough.

Although the policies surrounding Amber Alerts were reviewed in 2012, it may be necessary to have them revisited since a child’s life was taken.

The crime committed by this father was an unbelievably cold and barbaric one, but it deserves recognition so that similar instances like this can be properly recognized and hopefully avoided in the future.

To the people that griped about this because it bothered them, disturbed their sleep or whatever other meaningless reasons were given to emergency dispatchers or blasted over social media, the answer is simple: get over yourself.

The world has bigger problems than whether or not you were startled awake before your morning work shift. The whole purpose of the alert being loud is to get your attention and make sure you actually check your phone so that you can give any information that might aid the police in finding a missing child.

The life of another human being will always be more important and valuable than a person’s delicate sensibilities regarding a noise that briefly interrupted their night.

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