Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Amber Alert at 3:50am - What Took So Long?

Like many New Yorkers, I was awoken at 3:50am this morning by my phone blaring loudly.  I rolled over and checked it:
Manhattan, NY AMBER Alert UPDATE: LIC/GEX1377 (NY) (1995) Tan Lexis [sic] ES300
There wasn't much I could do about it, so I rolled back over and went right back to sleep.  When I woke up this morning, there were a couple tweets from friends about it:  "Not cool to scare the bejesus out of ppl with an amber alert at 4am" and reference to "a bunch of people as pissed off as I am that they're awake at 3:50am."

My first thought (and first tweet) was sympathetic to Verizon's situation.  "Imagine being the parent of the missing child when Verizon says 'we won't send the alert for another 5 hours'" when people are awake.  If you're a parent or someone in a position to help find an abducted child, of course you'll do everything you can to get that child back to safety.

Right?  Right?

Well, it turns out that the kid was abducted at 3:05 in the afternoon.  It took Verizon (and the police) 12 hours to send that alert.  What the hell took so long?  Do we really need to give the suspect a twelve hour head start?  How about when we know that the "Suspect is bi−polar and has had recent outbreaks of violence"?  Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg have done an excellent job of making the city safer over the last two decades, but it CANNOT take twelve hours to get an Amber Alert out.  That MUST be faster.

Mayor, Police Commissioner, Verizon Execs -- What took so long?!?

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