Amber Alert Caller Says Text Alerts Good Idea - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Amber Alert Caller Says Text Alerts Good Idea

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Mike Corner says using cell phone texts for Amber Alerts is a good idea. He knows all about using a cell phone in an emergency.

In 2004 Corner was on Interstate 80 on a business trip. He turned on the radio to hear about a man who had kidnapped a little girl and was fleeing in a truck.

Fifteen miles later he spotted the vehicle and used his cell phone to call police.

"I looked over and I saw this little blond girl," he told us. "I recognized the (plate) number they had on the Amber Alert."

Turns out the girl's father had shot and killed her mother and had taken the little girl. Police theorize he was planning to end his own life and his daughter's as well. Mike's actions prompted gratitude from the girl's family.

"They really feel that I saved her life, so for me I'm grateful."

Corner says he thinks it's a good idea that the state is moving forward with a plan to update the way the government gets the word out to the public.

The new IPAWS system (Integrated Public Advanced Warning System) allows emergency managers to warn the public in three areas: Amber Alerts, Weather Disasters and Presidential Messages.

The system was used this week when a woman signed a young girl out of a Philadelphia school but wasn't the girl's mother.

The girl was later found okay but a statewide text alert confused many because it didn't say the Alert was for the Philadelphia area.

State managers blame regulations that restrict emergency messages to 90 characters.

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