Another Amber Alert, another series of complaints received by the OPP.

The Ontario Provincial Police would like to “remind the public that calling 911 or any emergency service communication centre is not an appropriate venue to complain about Amber Alerts.”

This following the activation of the system at approximately 3:00am this morning. The alert was received by wireless customers in our area. The subjects of the alert, two young boys under four were found driving with their grandfather in Toronto this morning after not being heard from since yesterday afternoon. Police say all are in good health and were located “as a direct result” of the alert.

The OPP says the program continues to be an “instrumental tool in assisting both the public and police with locating an abducted child who may be in danger.” The OPP also reported receiving complaints from the public after other alerts issued this past spring and winter.

The decision to utilize the Ontario Amber Alert is based on “established criteria and is not taken lightly. In 2019, there [have] been five alerts activated. As a direct result of these alerts, four assisted in the safe return of the child/children and one with the apprehension of a suspect. The OPP recognizes the inconvenience the alert may have caused, but will not apologize for using all of the tools available to help locate a child.”

The OPP adds, “The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) mandated the broadcasting industry to distribute emergency alert messages, which includes Amber Alerts. As of April 2018, compatible wireless networks (wireless public alerting) were included in this mandate. The only option to not receive these alerts to a mobile device is to have your device turned off. However, if your device is turned off you will be unable to receive any emergency alert that may contain information of imminent danger in your area.”

For more information regarding Canada’s emergency alerting system please visit the Alert Ready website.