Amber Alert hoaxes anger local law enforcement

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

Jonesboro, AR (KAIT) - "I cannot imagine whoever started this thinking it was fun," said Craighead County Sheriff, Jack McCann.

McCann says the Amber Alert hoaxes are no laughing matter.  In fact, he says, he and others in law enforcement are angered by what someone might think is a joke.

"If this gets to be too common, it's going to be a problem and someone is going to get seriously injured or killed," said McCann.

McCann fears too many Amber Alerts that turn out to be nothing more than a hoax will lessen people's awareness and response when an Amber Alert is issued, and a child really is in danger.

"When somebody put out an Amber Alert everybody that heard it on the highway, in the grocery story, wherever, they just start looking, trying to find these children.   We don't want that to stop," said McCann.

McCann says when an Amber Alert is issued, law enforcement will give out as much information as they can--often times more than just an age and sex of a child like the text circulating about the Poplar Bluff girl.  He says it's always a good idea to be vigilant and observant no matter how you hear of an Amber Alert. He says one way to help authorities is to pay attention to the specific details of the alert, and call police if you hear or see anything matching those details.

"If the parents are going to report a child missing, you're naturally going to have the name, their address, a clothing description," said McCann.

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