Complaints about late-night amber alerts have become unfortunately common in Canada this year. On multiple occasions, Canadians have decided that calling 9-1-1 to express their frustration with urgent amber alerts was a good idea.
Earlier this year, for example, residents of Brampton, Ontario overwhelmed 9-1-1 operators with phone calls after local police issued an amber alert for an abducted child. That child was later found dead.
And just this past week, people in the GTA took to social media to voice their annoyance at an amber alert that disturbed their slumber. Luckily, the child involved was later found safe with his mother.
Exasperated, police are now taking more extreme measures to deter such behaviour. After receiving multiple complaints about an amber alert for the missing Toronto 3-year-old, authorities in Niagara, Ontario are using Twitter to call out inappropriate 9-1-1 calls.
"911 is intended for emergencies only. Calling to complain about an
#AmberAlert ties up precious resources for others who may need help. We received 10+ complaint calls over yesterday's alert for a 3 year old child believed to be in imminent danger," a Twitter post reads.
Accompanying the post is an audio recording of a 9-1-1 conversation in which a belligerant resident lambasts the police and demands to know where he can file an official complaint.
911 is intended for emergencies only. Calling to complain about an #AmberAlert ties up precious resources for other… https://t.co/tMn3sdas9J— NRPS (@NRPS) 1557920896.0
"What right do you have to put an alert out in Niagara Falls and wake me up at 5 o'clock in the fucking morning?" he asks. "Sir, it's an amber alert for a child that has been abducted," the operator respond.
"I don't give a fuck!" he answers. "This is bullshit!" he continues. "I'm not blaming you personally you have to understand. Who would you like me to call to complain?"
Responses to the Niagara Police Department tweet condemn the man's attitude and praise the Amber Alert system. "Wake me up 100 times, and if ONE child is saved, it's well worth it," wrote one Twitter user.
@NiagRegPolice I'm sorry that you received calls about it. The selfishness of some local people breaks my heart. A… https://t.co/7iNZvse20s— Saintlov ❣️ 🇨🇦 (@Saintlov ❣️ 🇨🇦) 1557921424.0
The media relations officer of the Niagara Regional Police has also praised the profressionalism of the 9-1-1 operators who received the man's phone call. "Normal people get the need and value of the Amber Alert system," he wrote.
Normal people get the need and value of the #AmberAlert system and not tying up 911 to complain. Imagine the levels… https://t.co/udHHmnwBli— PC Phil Gavin (@PC Phil Gavin) 1557924454.0
Other commenters have suggested that people who use the 9-1-1 line to complain about emergency alerts should be criminally charged.
You can read more about this incident by reading this report from Global News.
Stay tuned for more news.