September 30, 2014

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Ohio halts overnight Amber Alerts to cell phones

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Amber Alert Steering Committee has decided for now to stop sending alerts about abducted children to Ohioans’ cellphones between midnight and 6 a.m. after an overnight alert prompted complaints.

A State Highway Patrol spokeswoman tells The Columbus Dispatch there was “considerable grumbling” in complaints to troopers and the attorney general about an alert early Tuesday. The subjects of it were found safe hours later.

The alerts go automatically to phones that are in the Wireless Emergency Alert program, and others can be set to get them.

A patrol spokeswoman says Ohio will study the issue more before possibly permanently excluding alerts during certain hours.

She says some states and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children choose not to send Amber Alerts at very early hours.