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Utah Department of Public Safety halting cell phone AMBER Alerts for 'complete review'

Decision follows early morning incomplete alert
Posted at 11:15 AM, Apr 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-19 22:44:55-04

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — The Utah Department of Public Safety is pausing AMBER Alert notifications through the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system.

The announcement comes after the South Salt Lake Police Department issued an AMBER Alert Sunday at 3:33 a.m. requesting the public’s help in locating a child abduction victim, who has since been located.

The alert mistakenly included “no useful information,” according to a press release, and the Department of Public safety recognizes there have been similar issues with AMBER Alerts issued in September and November.

The department says it is conducting a thorough review of the system, but that WEA will still be available for evacuation orders, hazardous material warnings and other civil emergency messages.

Until testing on the WEA system is complete, the Department of Public Safety will continue only sending AMBER Alerts directly to law enforcement, news media, social media and to alert.utah.gov.