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Va. Beach police defend late-night alert

Thursday - 7/25/2013, 6:18pm  ET

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) -- Virginia Beach Police are defending their use of an automated telephone alert system to awaken residents in the middle of the night as they searched for a 12-year-old runaway.

The Virginian-Pilot reports ( ) that some residents complained after receiving the alert about the missing girl around 3 a.m. Tuesday. Capt. Sean Adams says more than 17,000 homes were contacted, but only about half picked up in person or through an answering machine.

Adams says police had searched unsuccessfully for the girl for about three hours when they decided to activate the automated alert system. He apologized for inconveniencing some residents but said police were obligated to do everything they could to get the girl home safely. Friends eventually found the girl, and she was reunited with her parents Tuesday night.


Information from: The Virginian-Pilot,

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