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The benefits of being aware with Amber Alert
January 24, 2013
On the evening of Jan. 14, 2013, many students and residents in the Williamsport area received a message on their moble devices indicating that there was an Amber Alert issued in the area. The message was sent through a Wireless Emergency Alert Program to announce the abduction of five year old Nailla Robinson earlier that morning in West Philadelphia. As the search for Nailla went into the night, the notifications travelled farther to surrounding areas, explaining why many people in Williamsport received the news.
The missing child was found early the next morning in a playground approximately ten miles away from the scene of the crime after a local commuter on their way to work heard her cries and investigated the scene.
For those living in highly populated areas like Williamsport, it is very important to realize anyone is susceptible to being abducted. Here at Lycoming College, although our campus is generally smaller, it is surrounded by city residents and attractions. It is very important that students try to not travel alone, think wisely before traveling off campus on the weekends at late hours and promote the use of modern technology to one another as preparation if abduction were to occur.
There is an iPhone app by Jonathan Zdziarski that provides information about the victim, time and place of the crime, and provides the opportunity to report a sighting of the victim. Other brands of smart phones also have similar apps, and even GPS tracking devices stored in each phone, allowing family members and friends to monitor where their loved ones are if needed.
The response citizens have to these notifications can mean life or death to another person. It is important that everyone realizes they can have an impact on the future of another individual simply by just being aware of a crime. Upcoming generations of people are lucky to have the advantage of these notifications right at their fingertips, and the quicker people respond to these notifications the quicker a lost individual can be recovered.