Should People Who Call 911 to Complain About Amber Alerts be Fined?

 

Many people have been calling for some kind of repercussions for those who call the 911 emergency line to complain about the Amber Alert system—and someone has finally put it down in writing.

An online petition on Change.org is calling for fines to be issued to people calling 911 to complain about Amber Alerts. The petition currently has over 70,000 signatures out of a target number of 75,000.

The petition is addressed to Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Attorney General Doug Downey. It recalls the tragic story of Riya Rajkumar, a Brampton girl who disappeared one night back in February while in her father's custody. Rajkumar’s mother called the police when he failed to return the child at the mutually agreed to time that night.

Riya Rajkumar (photo courtesy of Change.org)

The Amber Alert was issued by police and the father was eventually found, but not before Rajkumar was discovered murdered. 

"While this was happening, some people (a lot of people) decided to start calling the emergency lines to COMPLAIN about the Amber Alert because it woke them up and ‘they couldn’t do anything about it anyway’ or they were ‘too far’ from where the Amber Alert had originated," the petition reads, recalling some of the reactions from people online about the alert going out in the middle of the night.

"These people went on living their lives which were disrupted for all of two minutes, while the little girl was no more. They were never fined for taking time away from real emergencies. More Amber Alerts have been issued since and more calls and complaints have come through the emergency lines."

"This is ABSURD. This has to STOP."

The petition is calling for greater consequences for misusing 911 in this fashion. 

"People have to understand that when they dial 9-1-1, they are taking time and personnel away from actual emergencies and that these actions could COST LIVES! Take a moment to sign this petition and make sure these non-emergency callers get fined for their crime!"

A recent story featured some responses to tweets from Peel Police about the alerts. Here are some of them:

But if you think the absurdity of people actually taking the effort to complain to 911 about an emergency alert on missing children is bad enough, recently some people have been calling 911 to complain about…ice cream trucks.

All this faux outrage is peak Snowflakism at its worst.

The police do have the information of those who call 911 recorded on their system, so it is within the power of the authorities to track down and penalize those who waste police resources on such trivial matters such as getting annoyed by an Amber Alert.

However, the other side of the coin is there could be an issue of invasion of one's privacy…but when it comes to this specific matter, perhaps some people deserve to get called out for their selfishness and stupidity.

Do you think people who call 911 to complain about Amber Alerts should get fined? 

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