Amber Alerts now on smartphones

POSTED: 01:44 PM PDT Aug 06, 2013    UPDATED: 08:46 PM PDT Aug 06, 2013 
Cell Phone
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

For the first time ever, smartphone users received an Amber Alert.

The change caught many people off guard because the alert came with a loud sound.  And, the alerts started late Monday night and continued periodically for some until Tuesday morning. 

The Emergency Alert System has quietly been expanding to cell phones for years.  The feature was just added to California wireless networks January 1st.

"The one we've seen today happens to be the first one in the state that was pushed to our region" said Officer Kevin Taulbee with the California Highway Patrol.

Social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter are filled with comments from people who don't like the added service.  And, you'll find plenty of comments from people who are happy about the change.

You can turn the alerts off.  A simple internet search will lead you to plenty of instructions on how to get rid of Amber Alerts.