AMBER Alert Program Enhancement

Twitter and 5-1-1 Added to Distribute Alerts

ORILLIA, ON, May 20, 2014 /CNW/ - When an AMBER Alert is issued, timing is critical, and police need to get information out fast.  The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is adding Twitter and the MTO 5-1-1 roads info-service as new tools to get the details about a child abduction occurrence out as quickly as possible to as wide an audience as possible.

With the use of Twitter, an AMBER Alert will travel among thousands of cell phones and electronic devices within seconds.  And with the capability for Twitter subscribers to not only receive but to 'retweet' information, police know that an AMBER Alert announcement can be multiplied to thousands of people fast.

Twitter will enhance the Ontario AMBER Alert Program by enabling public notifications to a growing network of partner-agencies who spread the word whenever there is a report of an abducted child anywhere in Ontario who may be in danger.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) announced they would also partner with the Program by making it easier for the public to be informed quickly whenever an AMBER Alert is in effect.  Now when motorists see an AMBER Alert on overhead highway signs, they can dial 5-1-1 for information regarding the Alert in effect to obtain information on suspect vehicle and more.  This 5-1-1 service system is voice-activated and can be used hands-free.  The public is reminded that dialing a cellphone while driving is considered distracted driving and subject to a fine.

"The more tools we have available, the greater chance we have to safely recover a child who may be in danger.  Through the use of social media we can reach many people quickly; and this is critical during an AMBER Alert activation." - OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair

Citizens are encouraged to follow the OPP on Twitter for Amber Alert notifications at AMBER Alert Ontario.

SOURCE: Ontario Provincial Police

For further information:

Sgt. Steve Montpetit
OPP AMBER Alert Coordinator

Phone: (705) 329-7679 


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