Amber alerts too close for comfort?

Published 09/03 2014 04:57PM

Updated 09/03 2014 07:35PM

Since 2003, the Amber Alert Program has been in Dothan.  At that time alerts were sent via television and radio. As of 2013, they have been coming straight to people's cell phones.

Dothan Police Major Steve Parrish believes this is a great idea.

"I received one from out of town the other day," Major Parrish said. The alerts automatically go to cell phones because of the Wireless Emergency Alerts Program. Through this program other types of alerts are sent out as well.

Most phones today are capable of receiving them with no problems.

"You've got a good description, you've got a tag number, you've got a possible suspect description," Major Parrish said. "The more people you have looking, the better."

But there is the option to turn the notifications off. This means that you will never know that anything has been issued. Pastor Mary Edwards chooses to keep them on because her cell phone is her method of news.

"I believe that it's a good idea to have it on your phone because it may not be your family, but it may be somebody that you know," Edwards said.

Because child abductions are unpredictable there is the chance that your phone could go off late at night.

Terry Carey's phone made a loud noise late Saturday and he just was not expecting it. He would rather not get them at certain hours.

"I wasn't real pleased with it but then I think about the family of the kid that's missing."

But Major Parrish says that keeping the alerts on helps police in their searches and he believes most wouldn't mind giving a hand.

"Most people are good people, decent people and most people don't mind helping out if they have an opportunity," Major Parrish said.

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