‘Human error’ to blame for mistaken Amber Alert in Nassau County

Posted: Updated:
HEMPSTEAD -

Human error is being blamed for an Amber Alert that went out to cellphones in Nassau County Wednesday morning.

The alert was issued through the "Wireless Emergency Alert" system and pushed to all cellphones near Nassau County cell towers.

News 12 Long Island was told that the emergency Amber Alert was mistakenly sent by two employees at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

A vice president at the organization blames "human error," saying “two people, moving fairly rapidly, misread an alert from Nassau County police.”

Nassau County Police had requested a "Missing Child Alert" - not an Amber Alert for 11-year-old Ninssy Vasquez, of Hempstead Village. It's one of two alert options available to law enforcement when a child is missing.

Nassau police say Vasquez had last been seen around 7 p.m. Tuesday leaving her home on Henry Street. Police say she was located on Wednesday.

State Sen. Phil Boyle says the mix-up proves the need for an overhaul of the Amber Alert system. He introduced a bill last month following the abduction and death of a 2-year-old boy from Suffolk. County and state police did not issue an Amber Alert at that time.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children told News 12 that they will be "re-instructing staff" after this incident.

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