An Amber Alert issued Tuesday morning has once again rubbed people the wrong way. The alert was issued for William Gooden, a three-year-old boy who Toronto Police believed was abducted by his mother, 25-year-old Breana Gooden. Police detailed in the alert that Gooden, who is from Sudbury, was last seen on Monday night travelling on a bus to Toronto. Thankfully, the pair were found safe just hours after the Amber Alert was issued inside a downtown Toronto condo.
Unfortunately, the response to the alert wasn’t exactly what police were hoping for. Many residents called emergency services to complain about the alert disturbing them or waking them up.
Toronto Police Services were forced to release a statement on Tuesday morning, explaining that their communications centre had been flooded with calls from residents complaining about being woken up by the alert, reminding residents to only call in if they had information about the case.
Once again our Communications Centre has been receiving a number of calls from citizens using it as a platform to c… https://t.co/VSPd1dlSbW— Toronto Police Operations (@Toronto Police Operations)1557831889.0
Peel Regional Police released a similar reminder this morning, once again warning people that they should only call if they see the missing individuals in the alert:
The service is used for a reason and a purpose. Don't call to complain, call if you see the subjects in the alert.… https://t.co/PXi2ANa3Ae— Peel Regional Police (@Peel Regional Police)1557830223.0
The child was described as three feet tall with short dark hair and a heavy build, he was last spotted wearing a blue t-shirt, a Montreal Canadiens hat and black pants. Toronto Police later reported that they had located the boy and his mother and the Amber Alert was cancelled shortly thereafter.
Police have yet to release any further details about the circumstance surrounding the incident, whether any charges will be laid or if the child had in fact been in danger.
A similar incident had occurred back in February when an Amber Alert was issued for 11-year-old Riya Rajkumar from Brampton. Police received a number of complaints about the incident when a notification about her disappearance went out late at night.
Rajkumar was later found dead in her father’s basement apartment. Her father, who killed Rajkumar, was located with the help of the alert. Despite the late hour of the alert, police said at the time that it played a crucial role in the search.
Last month, a KFC employee in Tilbury, Ontario was also able to recognize a five-year-old missing boy, thanks to the Amber Alert system. The alert had been out for less than three hours before the employee discovered the child. The boy had last been seen in Mississauga which is nearly 300 kilometres away from the small Ontario town of Tilbury, making it quite the discovery.