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.
AMBER Alert founder Pastor Charles Williams responded today to those complaints about the new Amber Alert Texting system, Williams says, "This new method is critical. If your child was abducted I'm sure you would think differently."
Williams says that a large percent of Amber Alert suspects try to move under the cover of night from one town to the next.
"If a tornado was coming into the area at 3am you would be alerted, if the country was in any kind of attack you would be alerted, so now it's our children and your complaining about being alerted over night? What about those who work at night and sleep during the day?"
Williams says that cell phone users can always opt out of the alerts if they wish.
The Associated Press/WKYCTV