Parents Voice Concerns About Amber Alert

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By Jessica Gertler

An Amber Alert was issued yesterday for a five year old boy abducted in Anniston. Thankfully, he's been found safe. But many parents tell CBS 8 News they didn't know an alert had gone out, and tonight, they're voicing their worries about what would happen if their own children were in danger.

Parents CBS 8 spoke with at Ida Bell Young Park say they have concerns about Alabama's Amber Alert. They say the system means well, but it just isn't working.

Parents say thanks to CBS 8 News, they heard the Amber Alert loud and clear.

Otherwise, they say they wouldn't have been on the look out for a 5-year-old abducted from Anniston on Sunday.

"If my grand kids were abducted,  I would like for the whole world to be able to know," says one grandparent at Ida Bell Young Park. "Not just glancing at the television and seeing it."

There's several ways to get an Amber alert including social media, the news, the Department of Public Safety's website, and signing up to get a text message alert.

But last night, nothing was uploaded to the Department of Public Safety's website, and one of the emails sent to the media listed the wrong county.

Candace Cleveland, mother of 3, says she didn't see the alert, and "It's scary."

A spokeswoman with Alabama's Broadcasters Association says nothing went wrong with the system, and the correct information was sent out about the abducted child and the suspect.

And Derrick Cunningham with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office says that's all they need to start a search.

"The issue is getting the information. The proper information. What kind of vehicle, description, what we're looking for, tag numbers, and things of that nature," says Cunningham.

Cunningham says another way law enforcement issues Amber Alerts is through digital billboards that you see over the interstates. Parents say they'd like to see more added across the state, so more people can see the alerts issued.

To sign up for Amber Alert Text: https://www.wirelessamberalerts.org/index.jsp

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