Father seeks changes to Amber Alert - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Father seeks changes to Amber Alert

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By Dana Griffin

dgriffin@abc6.com

WOONSOCKET, RI- The Woonsocket father who's son was at the center of an Amber Alert last week says he wants changes in the way those alerts are issued.

When 6–year-old Daniel Britt was taken to Washington by his mother, his father wanted an Amber Alert issued immediately. It came a week later, once police found evidence that the child might be in danger.

Daniel is now back at home, but his father says he might have been found earlier if the Amber Alert was issued sooner.

"It took a week. It shouldn't take that long," said Sean Britt.

It was a joyful reunion for the Britt family on Saturday, when the 6–year–old reunited with his dad. It's believed the mother first fled with him to Tennessee.

Sean Britt said, "Who knows, we probably could have found him in Tennessee. We could have found him before he got to Washington. But Amber Alert went out a week later and he made it all the way to Washington."

Amber Alerts are managed by each state, most having similar requirements. In Rhode Island, the child must be abducted, be in imminent danger, and have identifiable information like a license plate number to help track them down.

"You know, you're talking about parents here and not strangers abducting a child," said Captain Frank Castellone.

RI state police Captain, Frank Castellone is part of that chain of command that issues the Amber Alerts. He says all are reviewed case, by case.

"Unfortunately, we've had a couple this year and it was pretty cut and dry, black and white. It was a person that was not known to that child and they abducted that child. In this case, it's completely different. We're talking parents here," said Castellone.

But, Britt says he knew his wife's medical history and told police she could hurt herself or their son. He had to set a court date, and one week later, a judge allowed police to look at those records. Police found the evidence they were looking for.

Britt adds, "It shouldn't have took that long. If somebody wants to look at a medical record, a DCYF record, they should be able to look at that immediately."

Amber Alerts are for child abductions, not missing children. Britt plans to reach out to his state representative to find ways to seek changes in the Amber Alert system.

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