Parents React To Receiving Amber Alert Via Cell Phone

By: Anna-Lysa Gayle Email
By: Anna-Lysa Gayle Email

Find out if your phone is WEA capable here:

Harrisonburg, Va. (WHSV) -- For the parents of Amiyah Dallas, 5, new technology helped them breathe a sigh of relief Thursday night.

She was found less than an hour after she was reported missing via an amber alert.

"Well I was really surprised to receive it, because I didn't know anything about it," said Richard Johnson who is a grandparent.

"You know we were a little bit shocked to hear it and then we looked and realized it was an amber alert, so we were all kind of taken back and a little bit scared," said Sarah Riner, who is a mother of two girls.

Amber alerts issued through your cell phone are known as Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA).

According to Virginia State Police, Wednesday was the first time that we've seen a WEA issued for the state. It's also the first time we've had an amber alert since 2012.

"I was more concerned about the child and the seriousness of it than anything else," said Johnson.

"Two charges have been filed, one for abduction. One for unauthorized use of the vehicle," said Virginia State Police in a press conference on Wednesday.

Riner is one of several people WHSV surveyed Thursday who did not receive the alert.

"Someone at work told me to check the settings on my phone and mine were on. So I still have no idea why I didn't receive it," said Riner.

Only WEA capable phones will receive the alerts.

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