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Angry TV viewers call 911 to vent frustration at Amber Alert interruptions

OPP 'disappointed' with complaints about new broadcast system
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An Amber Alert warning issued by the OPP Sunday evening featured a broadcast of the new national alert system on televisions across Ontario.

The OPP want to thank the "vast majority" of members of the public for their support of the use of the new system but are "disappointed " by people who complained, many via 911.

"I am disappointed with the numerous calls and social media postings that have expressed anger and frustration with the personal inconvenience caused by the NADD System messages," said Detachment Commander Pat Morris.

"While I will apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused, we won't apologize for using all the tools available to us to find a missing child."

It was the first use of broadcast intervention for the Ontario Amber Alert which was enhanced in the past year to include notifications through the National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination (NAAD) System.

Despite the viewer complaints, the OPP say the Amber Alert was instrumental in helping police confirm the safety of a child in Orillia last night.

Early Sunday evening, police say concerned citizens reported to the OPP that they had witnessed an abduction, saying they saw a man physically taking charge of a young boy and forcing him into a vehicle.

"In this case, the Ontario Amber Alert led to numerous calls from concerned citizens who provided us information on the whereabouts of the young boy," said Morris. "Immediate follow up confirmed his location and wellbeing."

OPP say the parents of the boy told them the child had run away from home and they were seen in the process of picking him up and returning him home.

Officers say the Amber Alert worked and reminded people that 911 is for emergencies.

"By people using the 911 system for complaints, this ties up phone lines that are in place to deal with emergent situations," said OPP Sgt. Peter Leon.