After late-night Amber Alert, people call cops to complain

It was only a matter of time before an Amber Alert, the electronic alert that mobilizes people to help find missing children, ticked people off for disturbing them.

But Canada? Who saw that coming?

A family in Brampton, Ont., called the police when they discovered their 11-year-old daughter missing.

According to Maclean’s, some people called 9-1-1 to criticize the alert. Others took to social media to complain.

The child? She’s dead. The father has been arrested.

Sorry to bother you, the cops said today.

“You are horrible people,” Macleans’ Scott Gilmore writes:

“…we have grown so entitled to our comforts, we’ve forgotten that we have to pay for them, that we bear collective responsibilities. We can’t be bothered to vote. We resent paying taxes for public goods. We volunteer in our community less and less. And now we even begrudge having to help save the life of a child.

That is what citizens are complaining about today. They were asked to help save a child and this irritated them. In small towns, when a child goes missing everyone knocks on doors and wakes each other up and searches all night. Because in a community people look out for each other, they understand the duty we owe our neighbours. They recognize that if you want to live in a town that protects its children, occasionally you have to get up, go outside, and help.

This is a point all the whiners need to understand today: If you want to live in a province that protects its children, occasionally you have to roll over in bed and check your phone. And if that is too much to ask, then you are objectively a horrible person.

  • Ben Chorn

    Your link is to a different article, by the way.

    I was interested to see if it mentions the ages of those who complained. I’d guess older people would blame cells phones and assume it’s those darn millennials, but I would bet it’s middle aged people.

  • Bridget L.

    Has human nature always been we just need to be upset and complain about something. This guy is right, they are horrible, and I would add garbage people.

    • Bridget L.

      P.S. That poor family. How horrific.

    • Barton

      Yes, I think this is just human nature. Just read some old newspapers, novels, watch old movies. “Not my problem” is a frequently heard/read phrase.

  • chlost

    Oh, Canada! We have come to expect so much more of you.

  • Jack Ungerleider

    “And if that is too much to ask, then you are objectively a horrible person.”

    My adjustment to this statement is:
    “And if that is too much to ask, then just turn off your phone.”

  • Jeff

    At least in these parts I heard they are very judicious about issuing amber alerts. There’s a fairly rigorous protocol. I don’t recall the last one, maybe over the summer? The dog wakes me up in the middle of the night at least once a week, I think I can handle it.

    • Two requirements. Both must be met:

      1. The AMBER Plan should be activated when a child 17 years of age or younger is abducted and there is reason to believe the victim is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death. AND,

      2. There is information available to disseminate to the public which could assist with the safe recovery of the victim and/or the apprehension of the suspect.

  • boB from WA

    The spokeswoman was very gracious, but I don’t think the authorities should have to apologize for issuing the alert.

    • I think Gilmore pretty much said what she wanted to say, but, yeah, that’s some first-rate self control.

  • Agencies that issue alerts do face this problem. Amber alerts, weather radio alerts, warning sirens – there’s always some inconvenience for someone. Most of us just take note of the warning and decide how to follow up, and we appreciate the service.

  • C S

    the Amber alert doesn’t have to be sent with that strong sound, it should be sent with a normal tone because whoever is sleeping is not going to help in any way.

  • jon

    If only there were a way to turn off cell phones when we didn’t want them interrupting something… sleep, movies, romantic dates, driving…

    So many possibilities for a cell phone that can be turned off.