ARGENTINA LAUNCHES CHILD ABDUCTION ALERT “ALERTA SOFIA”
The Argentina government started a child abduction alert program on March 22 called “Alerta Sofia.” The system uses Facebook to disseminate alerts on cellphones for children under the age of 18 who are believed to be in imminent danger. The alert is named after Sofia Herrera, who was last seen on September 28, 2008. “I’m excited the alert has my daughter’s name,” said Maria Elena Delgado, Sofia’s mother. “It is a very important tool for the country.” The International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children provided support for developing Sofia Alerta. Argentinians can push one button to share the alert and another button to receive more information.
CANADIAN AUTHORITIES URGE RESIDENTS TO STOP CALLING 911 TO COMPLAIN ABOUT AMBER ALERTS
One AMBER Alert in Ottawa and another in Toronto prompted hundreds of 911 calls from residents angry about being disturbed by the alerts. Police in both cities urged citizens to stop tying up the emergency lines to make complaints. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau even issued a statement supporting AMBER Alerts to protect the safety of children.
Police in Ottawa sent an AMBER Alert at 11:30 p.m. on February 14 for an 11-year-old girl who was later found murdered. Residents called 911 and posted on social media how upset they were because the alert disturbed their sleep. A citizen tip helped police to capture the suspect. Most of the complaints were deleted from social media after numerous residents said they should be ashamed of themselves. “Losing a few minutes of sleep is nothing compared to the hell this family and those trying to help had to go through,” wrote one person.