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Amber Alerts can be improved

Riya Rajkumar had just celebrated her 11th birthday.

Only days later, this innocent child was dead, allegedly at the hands of her own father.

By now, most of us are familiar with the details of this heartbreaking story that unfolded earlier this month.

The death of a child is always tragic. But there is another side story to this that is equally important.

On the morning of Feb. 15, a number of people took to social media to vent about the fact they’d been woken up by an Amber Alert notification the previous evening. Calls to 911 flooded emergency operators, especially in Manitoba where the alert was also issued. People were venting. It was 11:30 p.m. when most people are either sleeping or winding down for the night.

The noise that comes from a cell phone, whether on silent or not, when one of these alerts comes through is jarring. Television sets blare with an equally disturbing sound. The noise is meant to catch your attention.

While the Amber Alert program has its merits, there are clearly a few kinks to work out in terms of logistics.

Perhaps a strategy to hone in on the locations surrounding future events that warrant an Amber Alert would help eliminate some of the frustration for people who live further afield, have no apathy for others and resent the intrusion into their personal space.

For some, it’s a matter of not having been solicited, as we are so conditioned today. The powers that be just assumed the general population would be receptive to becoming citizen police officers and want to join in on the crusade.

For others, it’s that invasion of privacy. Some would like to think they have autonomy in their own homes.

For families who are in a crisis situation, those issues amount to very little when they are hoping to save the life of their loved one. We can all identify with that.

So, let’s fix this valuable program to the satisfaction of all concerned so that it can be an effective tool for all.