• Early morning Amber Alert became a wake-up call

    By: Chris Legeros


    Wash. - The Washington State Patrol is getting complaints about its first ever Amber Alert delivered by cellphone on Sunday.

    It's not because of their urgent plea for help in finding 1-year-old Brayden Blasius. WSP said he was illegally grabbed by his parents in Montana who didn't have custody.

    Troopers were worried about the child's safety as the family headed for Washington in a stolen truck. Unfortunately, the alert with a description of the stolen vehicle was sent directly to thousands of smartphones at 3:30 a.m.

    "It was a loud, buzzing, beeping noise that woke both my wife and I up. I didn't know what was going on," said Chris Hanks, who received the alert.

    "It certainly wasn't our intent, said  Patrol Lt. Ron Mead.

    Mead explained that the Commercial Mobile Alerting System is a new technology that the State Patrol is still working on.

    He promised that future alerts will be better timed not to wake people in the middle of the night.   The system will deliver alerts from the president, messages dealing with disasters and Amber Alerts for missing children.

    By law, you can't turn off the messages from the White House. If you go to the settings on your smartphone, you can turn off the other notifications from the government.

    Mead said he hopes that cellphone users won't do that. He points out that Sunday's Amber Alert did successfully lead police to Brayden Blasius and his parents at an apartment in Fife.

    "When a child goes missing, every second and every set of eyes is invaluable in trying to locate that child," said Mead.

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