Why wasnt Naillas picture broadcast with the 1st Amber Alert?
The Amber Alert system was activated Tuesday after 5-year-old Na'illa Robinson was abducted from her school, but why wasn't her picture included in the alert when it was broadcast on local TV stations?
State police received the information from local police - including a photo of Na'illa - at 7:58 p.m. Monday and activated the Emergency Alert System (EAS) at 8:28 p.m., state police spokeswoman Maria Finn said.
A limitation of the EAS system is that it isn't built to transmit images, only text and audio, which is what most people in the Philadelphia area and beyond saw come across their television that night, Finn said.
She said television stations or cable providers would have had to extract the picture from a companion system and include it in their broadcasts.
Finn said a picture of Na'illa aired right after the EAS alerts on television stations in Harrisburg.
Many people also received a vague text message or alert on their smart phones telling them there was an Amber Alert and to check their local media.
The message was part of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), which is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. A FEMA spokesman directed questions to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the agency that sent the alert.
Bob Hoever, director of special programs for the center, said the message was part of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) program, which began this year. In the program, smartphone users with WEA-capable phones are automatically signed up for the alerts and must opt out. Not all phones are currently WEA-capable, which is why some people did not receive the message.
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