- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 2, 2015

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Iowa authorities acknowledge Amber Alerts can be jarring, especially when they sound on smartphones before 4 a.m., but they’re urging people not to switch off the notices.

People across Iowa got an early wake-up call on Monday when the Department of Public Safety issued an alert for two children, ages 2 and 4, who were missing from Jefferson. Police found the children safe at a downtown Des Moines hotel and arrested the 21-year-old babysitter on child endangerment charges.

Several Kirkwood Community College students say they were jolted awake when the alert went off. But they say they didn’t consider it enough of a nuisance to shut off the notices.

“I guess I’d rather have them wake me because you’d never know when something would happen,” Kelsey Beatty said.

Amber Alerts are issued through weather radios and smartphones unless the user switches the notifications off. Director Mike Goldberg of the Linn County Emergency Management hopes residents keep them on.

“They are there for a reason and the reason is to alert the people of an extreme situation and we don’t want people defeating that by turning off their technology,” Goldberg said.

The Amber Alert issued around early Monday for the children came after their mother reported them missing on Sunday night.

The Iowa Amber Team said the delay in issuing the alert was to confirm the children were missing. Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Nathan Ludwig added the notifications are delivered once police have information that can help locate the children, such as description of a suspect or vehicle.

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