Amber Alert offers free, and is now standard on most cell phones


MILWAUKEE - The feature used to find a missing 8 year old girl in Green Lake County, Amber Alert, is a loud shriek, offered free, and standard on most major cell phone carriers.


It's made possible by the National Wireless Emergency Alert System, and reaches many thousands more people than the older way of doing things, which included strictly Highway Electronic Billboards, and television and radio broadcasts, which are still used.


But the new way of disseminating this information to most cell phones via texts, must meet certain criteria.


·       Law enforcement must confirm an abduction prior to issuing an alert.

·       It requires proof that a child be at risk for serious bodily harm or death.

·       There must be enough descriptive information to locate the child and apprehend the suspect.

·       And the child must be 17 years of age or younger.


But some people are startled and annoyed, eventually choosing to opt out. Consumers may opt out of imminent threats and Amber Alerts, but not the Presidential Alert. The directions for opting out of imminent threats and Amber Alerts vary by device and provider.



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