amber alert

Early morning Amber Alert has people in Ontario complaining once again

An Amber alert issued in the early morning hours on Friday has many Ontario residents complaining about the public alert system once again — while others complain about those complainers.

As is the case every time such missives are issued from provincial police, there are those citizens who are taking issue with various aspects of the program.

And, as usual, there are also those who have hopped on social media to express their disgust with anyone who grumbles about an alert meant to help locate and potentially save the life of a child.

In this case, the child is 11-month-old Abby Mathewsie, who was last seen with her mother in Ottawa yesterday wearing a Montreal Canadiens baby onesie and went missing just before 2 a.m.

Authorities state that she is two feet tall and weighs 20 pounds, has brown eyes, black hair, and is Indigenous with tanned skin. The suspect is believed to be a 70-year-old, 5'6", 130-pound white woman with grey hair named Miriam.

Abby also notably has a feeding tube.

The main grievance the public seems to have time and time again with such alerts is the fact that they are loud and sudden enough to be quite shocking, especially in the middle of the night.

Some believe that residents should be able to opt-out or silence them, while others feel that they are sent out to people in too large of a radius.

"I understand Amber Alerts work, but why am I getting one for a girl in Ottawa?! She was last seen at 1:55 a.m., I get the Alert at 4 a.m. in Niagara. It is IMPOSSIBLE for her to be anywhere near me," one person tweeted this morning.

"I live in Richmond Hill. What could I do 4 in the morning for this kid in Ottawa. If someone who has heart problems wakes up suddenly with this noise and have an heart attack would they issue an amber alert for him or her too?" another chimed.

And yet another: "This Amber alert thing is for a good cause but please reduce the volume when people are sleeping FGS... this shit nearly gave me a heart attack overnight."

Then there are those in the "how much of a jerk do you need to be to complain about Amber Alerts?" camp, or of the "If you’re complaining about being woken up by an Amber Alert, you are a special kind of trash" persuasion.

As one social media user aptly stated, though, the two sides don't have to be mutually exclusive. "It’s not as though someone can’t be frustrated about being woken up while caring about abducted children," they wrote.

"There’s got to be a better way to go about it, then I think everybody would totally be on board and cool with helping."

Regardless of your feelings about the alert system — which the province was highly criticized for using earlier this year to remind us all to stay home amid pandemic lockdown — there is no doubt that Amber Alerts can help track down missing kids.

Ottawa police announced around 9:30 a.m. on Friday that Abby had been located and was receiving medical attention. One person is in custody in relation to the case.

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