amber alert toronto

People in Toronto are furious with jerks who were irked by last night's Amber Alert

An Amber Alert issued in Ontario just after Midnight on Wednesday has now been called off after its subject, a three-year-old girl from Barrie, was found safe and sound in Toronto.

"Barrie Police is pleased to advise that 3-year old Arabella Vienneau has been located in good health in Toronto by the Toronto Police and arrangements are now underway to return her to Barrie," announced the Barrie Police Service at 8:35 a.m. this morning.

"Thank you to the public and the media for all your assistance."

News of the child's recovery has been widely welcomed, for obvious reasons, but not everyone in Ontario was thrilled about an alert being issued in the first place.

Amber Alerts have been a touchy subject locally since the CRTC's "Alert Ready" system came to all mobile phones in 2018, largely on account of their terrifying "air raid siren" noise.

Many in Toronto have taken up issue with Amber Alerts specifically for going off at all hours of the night, in areas far from abduction sites, at a very loud volume and without enough information for anyone to actually help.

In fact, when mobile alerts were first mandated, people were so angry that they actually called 911 to complain about Amber Alerts being scary and even interrupting their TV programs.

This doesn't appear to be happening as much now as it did back in 2019, but you can always count on at least a few people popping off on Twitter when Amber Alert blares in Toronto. 

You can count on even more people preemptively scolding anyone who might call 911 or complain at all about being woken by an alert.

"You know what sucks? Being woken up in the middle of the night for an amber alert. But it doesn't suck because I was woken up. It sucks because there's a fucking three year old that went missing," wrote one Twitter user.

"I will NEVER complain about an amber alert and if you do, you're trash."

"That amber alert in the middle of the night was loud, disruptive and scared the ish out of me in the middle of the night. And if it helps to locate the missing child, do it again next time. And the next, next and the time after that," wrote another.

"If you call the police over an Amber alert because it woke you up just to complain I'll come to your house with a Mariachi band at 2:00 am.," joked another Twitter user.

Another vowed to "do something that'll end up on the national news" if they hear of anyone calling 911 to complain about the alert.

There seem to be far more comments from people complaining about those who might complain about an Amber Alert than there are actual complaints.

Like... a lot more.

Perhaps fearing this kind of backlash, many people who did comment on being woken up by the alert were careful to preface their statements with caveats about how they are pro-Amber Alert.

"I'll never complain about our province's amber alert system we get on our phone because it's important but boy does that sound fucking scare the shit out of me in the middle of the night," wrote one. "Sounds like an air raid lmao."

"Let me start by reiterating that I'm not complaining about the amber alert last night. I'm all for them," wrote another. 

"But when I'm in a dead sleep and wake up to that sound let me tell you, I was so so confused and was wondering what the hell was happening. Kinda scary."

It seems as though more people are now taking up issue with how the alert system is designed than its actual existence or use.

In the wake of last night's Amber Alert, some are suggesting that the noise be changed to something less Purge-like.

"After receiving an amber alert I just realized the user experience of an amber alert is absolutely abysmal," noted one Ontarian.

"It caught my attention but not long enough for me to read who went missing. I just turned it off to shut the noise cause it's midnight for God's sake. I'm half asleep."

"As a father of young children I’m grateful for the Amber Alert system. But the blaring noise should not wake up an entire province in the middle of the night," wrote another. "People aren't going to search the streets in the middle of the night in their PJs.Don’t send out alerts from 11 p.m. - 6 a.m."

Fortunately, the subject of this Amber Alert was found safe and returned to her family. This is not always the case.

"The early stage of the investigation is critical. Information obtained quickly through an AMBER Alert may assist in the safe and swift return of abducted children," reads a brochure on the Toronto Police Service's website.

"AMBER Alert empowers the community to work cooperatively with law enforcement and the media to increase the safety of our communities. The main objective is always the safe return of the child."

Lead photo by

Jack Landau

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