If you live in the Detroit area like I do, you were worken up Saturday around 5:45 a.m. with an odd alarm clock sound/vibrate. I woke up in a stupor thinking it was a weekday and then pulled my phone to my face — and realized it was an Amber Alert for a missing girl in Bancroft.
I tried to go back to sleep after about 30 minutes, but was unable to. So, pulled my phone back out and went to my social media accounts (as any normal person would do. To my relief, I wasn’t the only person WIDE away at 6:15 a.m. on Saturday. My timeline was flooded with regrams of the alert, individuals explaining that they’d fallen out the bed from being startled, someone having misread the alert and thought they WON a F150, and questions of “where is Bancroft” and “when did they start sending this to my phone?”
Laughs aside, here’s some answers the questions I saw:
- The Amber Alert was issued for: Hailey Betts, age 6, height 3’6, 56lbs, blue eyes, brown hair. She is apparently with her father, Brett Betts who is age 37, 5’9, 165 lbs, blue eyes, brown hair. In a teal 2000 Ford F-250 with Michigan license plate 7KJC97. See: http://www.amberalertmichigan.org
- Amber Alerts are part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs. According to their webstie, the alerts started January 2013, and are automatically sent through the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) to millions of cell phone users. If you have a WEA-enabled phone, you are automatically enrolled for the three alerts: President, Imminent Threat and AMBER Alerts. The addition of AMBER Alerts to this notification system is a result of a partnership between CTIA and the wireless industry, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Go to: http://www.amberalert.gov for further information.
- Bancroft, MI is a 0.6 mile village in Shiawassee County, near Saginaw.
- Here’s some links on how to manage your Amber Alert settings:
While the alert seemed to have startled a lot of Metro Detroiters, it’s good this technology is being used in such a way. Hopefully the community’s increased awareness will lead to many saved lives!