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Posted at 6:50 PM ET, 02/19/2010

Making Amber alerts work

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Joe Sandri
Silver Spring

It is fabulous that the Seat Pleasant girl who was the subject of an Amber alert was recovered safely [“Girl, 11, returned home to Md.,” Metro, Feb. 15]. Yet that success should not deter improvements to this system.

My family and I saw the alert on TV. The text on the screen offered nothing helpful except a reference to the alert and how to contact officials. It did not describe the girl, the alleged kidnapper or the circumstances of her disappearance; there was no photo of her.

Only a brief voiceover — which was not repeated — offered some of that critical information. Putting such information on the screen and announcing it more than once would greatly expand audience awareness and the effectiveness of Amber alerts.

By washingtonpost.com editors  | February 19, 2010; 6:50 PM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Maryland, crime, police  
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